By: Tziyona Gheblikian (10th Grade)
This week, the Warrior Word sat down with new biology teacher Ms. Klees to discuss her interest in science, her passion for flag football, and tiny elephants.
Tziyona Gheblikian: Where were you born and raised?
Ms. Klees: I was born in Pennsylvania, and when I was about eight years old, we moved down to a place south of Myrtle Beach, in South Carolina, and that’s where I was raised. I lived in South Carolina up until August of this year, moving here.
TG: Wow, that wasn’t too long ago. It’s so different here in comparison to South Carolina. Have you ever visited Florida before moving here?
Ms. K: Yeah, I’ve been down here a few times to visit my friends, so that’s kind of what attracted me to Miami.
TG: And have you always been interested in science?
Ms. K: Yes. In high school, I was very interested in chemistry, and when I went off to college, I began to explore which sciences I enjoyed more. Once I got to college, I didn’t really like chemistry as much, and loved biology. So I stuck with biology as my major. Then in my junior or senior year of college, I took Microbiology. It is the study of bacteria and viruses, and I thought that it was really exciting. That’s what drove me towards microbiology, so I went to graduate school to study it.
TG: That’s really amazing! So what led you to become a science teacher?
Ms. K: I’ve always really enjoyed helping people learn, and sharing my knowledge with them. So I started out with some education courses in my undergrad school for my bachelor’s degree, and then I decided to go to grad school. While I was in grad school, I was working with high school students, tutoring and substituting classes. Doing so, I really felt that this was where I needed to be. So here I am at Hebrew Academy. What has led me here is the enjoyment of seeing that light bulb when a student understands something that you’re teaching them and then the challenge that comes along with that. You have to implement your own strategies in order to get students excited about science, because not everybody loves it, and seeing that excitement is really rewarding.
TG: How long have you been teaching for?
Ms. K: I have taught college-level labs for six years, and I then worked with high school students for two, or three years. But this is my first year teaching high school biology at Hebrew Academy.
TG: And what has that been like so far?
Ms. K: I love it here. I’ve had a great experience so far. It really has been awesome.
TG: Do you play any sports?
Ms. K: Yes, I played four years of varsity softball in college, and in high school I played volleyball, basketball, and softball. And then when I was off in grad school, I really got into flag football. So I’d say softball and flag football are really my favorite sports.
TG: Do you have any other hobbies, apart from the sports you mentioned?
Ms. K: Yes, I love anything outdoors, like camping, fishing, hiking, going to the beach, and hanging out with my dog.
TG: Which animal would be the cutest if scaled down to the size of a cat?
Ms. K: Good question. Maybe an elephant.
TG: I agree. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever broken?
Ms. K: Do bones count?
TG: Yeah, why not?
Ms. K: I’ve actually had several broken bones that have required surgery, so that has definitely taken a toll on my wallet.
TG: That’s a really good answer!