Thank you, Teachers!

The Pow Wow sent a form to the graduating class of 2024 in April requesting that seniors submit notes of appreciation for members of the teaching staff, particularly teachers whom they felt went “above and beyond.” We received responses for teachers in every department, demonstrating the magnitude of the positive impact felt by students. The notes are listed below in alphabetical order by department. We hope the teaching staff enjoys reading them and feels uplifted by the words of these very grateful students.
Thank you, Teachers!

To: Ms. Bryan
From: Nathalie Cutipa

I’m thankful for my teacher because she has been the most kindest and loving person. I like the fun vibe she brings into the classroom and her energy makes my classmates want to talk more. Whenever I walk into her class, I’m happy because it’s not like any other.

To: Mr. Chamberlin
From: Carla Garcia 

I am very much thankful for Mr. Chamberlin for so many reasons. He is extremely special to me even though I only just had him this year. The first reason why he is so special to me is because he is the most chill teacher not to mention he is very understanding. The second reason why he is so special to me is because he is so kind he has never yelled at the class. And the last reason why I find him so special is because he never gives us homework, not to mention he always gives the most easiest assignments. Mr. Chamberlin is just the best English teacher in the world. I just wish I could restart his class again as his class is so much fun.

To: Mr. Conroy
From: Jack Gutierrez

He is a very calm, understanding, and awesome teacher who loves everyone in his class. I have never met a teacher even close to being like him and he made my last year of high school a lot better.

To: Mrs. Ferzola 
From: Mmesoma Wright

Mrs. Ferzola ignited a love for theatre that I was much too afraid to tap into when I first came to BHS. She has consistently been encouraging, loving, supportive and all around a wonderful person to be in company with. I have come out of my shell a whole lot, and I owe so much of it to her.

To: Mr. Jackson
From: Jeffrey Arriaza

Great attitude and great energy to make every school day memorable.

To: Ms. Kennedy
From: Cinthia Romero

I am thankful for Mrs. Kennedy because she never fails to make me laugh on days that I’m feeling very stressed and down. She is special in so many ways because she’s always there for her students and goes above and beyond for us daily and that’s why I am so grateful that she able to be a part of my senior year experience.

To: Ms. Knuth
From: Erika Martinez

She is kind, funny and cool. She is encouraging and firm when giving lessons. She helps us with writing prompts and English class when we need it but she has made this school year wonderful for me.

To: Ms. Kohl
From: Jennifer S. Woods

I cannot put into words the impact Ms. Kohl has had on my life. She is a teacher, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Ms. Kohl, no matter what the energy of the class is, manages to put a smile on her face and bring energy to her classes. Her care and drive for her students to succeed, not only in school but also in life, is very apparent. I find myself this year, no matter the day I have had, looking forward to sixth period and wondering what exciting lesson Ms. Kohl has prepared for us. Ms. Kohl loves to bond with her students and provide them with real life skills that will be utilized in the future.

To: Mrs. Masotto
From: Yajaira Guevara

She’s the most genuine teacher that I have ever met. She is very cheerful and so kindhearted. Being in her class is just a fun experience I got to have for my last high school English class!

To: Mr. Muma
From: Emily Crespo

He makes his classroom a stress-free environment and is very understanding. He made me aware of how college will be and less anxious about it.

To: Ms. Roberto
From: Ashley Lozano Ramos

I’m thankful because Ms. Roberto always made class enjoyable, interactive, and funny which also makes her special. She’s special because she stood out from any other teacher and I will forever remember her English class.

To: Ms. Roche
From: Kaily Garcia

It was her first year teaching at Brentwood, and she really made my senior year real easy. She’s a chill teacher, amazing, good with deadlines and gives opportunities to always hand in work no matter how late, I hope she stays in Brentwood because she did an amazing job for her first year here.

To: Ms. Roche
From: Desiree Romero

Despite joining us a little late, she has been one of my biggest supporters this year. Always allowing me to speak with her when I need someone to talk to, and quickly becoming one of my favorite teachers. Thank you so much for allowing me to be myself when I feel as if I can’t at home.

To: Ms. Sickler
From: Catherine Perez

I’m so thankful for Ms. Sickler because she is honestly such an amazing teacher. She is so special to me because I had an amazing bond with her. It felt like she was my bestfriend. I hope she keeps being cool with all her students and I will definitely miss her.

To: Ms. Stein
From: Evelyn Cortes

She always wanted to see me succeed. I don’t think that I would be here right now graduating and making my son happy with out her. She is and was always a true angel.


To: Mrs. Garrutti
From: Chrissaela Eleve

She is very patient and she makes sure that I understand every assignment. And also I feel good in her class, very peaceful.

To: Mr. Kavanagh
From: Erlin Escobar 

El me enseñó y me ayudó a pasar el regente y me dijo que yo lo podía hacer y me animo a continuar la escuela además es como un amigo para mí y aprecio mucho su amistad para mí es el mejor maestro le agradezco a Dios por poner personas como él en mi camino.

To: Mrs. Markowski
From: Marlin Pineda

I’m thankful for Mrs. Markowski for being there for me, for helping me out in school and giving me a lot of support and motivation. She is special to me because she’s like a mother to us all – she cares about us and worries about us.

To: Mrs. Markowski
From: Stephanie Ponce

Expressing gratitude for the support, guidance, and care she has shown.

To: Ms. Morris
From: Bella Mendoza Olmedo

I am very grateful to Ms. Morris because she has always tried to help me have enough credits to graduate, especially with one credit. It also helped me with the practice of the English Regents exam. Thank you, Ms. Morris.

To: Ms. Ricciardi
From: Jacqueline Munoz Garcia

I feel grateful with her because she was my first teacher when I entered Brentwood High School. I learned and I still learn a lot things with Ms. Ricciardi. I really appreciate her as a teacher and as a woman. I admire her so much. And now, for me it is sad to leave her. I know that I experienced good things with her. I know that she will continue teaching other kids. Thanks Ms. Ricciardi for all you do for me and for the others!

To: Mr. Zagaja
From: Juana Guzman Argueta

Thank you for your support. You are a huge inspiration on my life. The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you. Thank you for teaching me a new side of literature and being an incredible teacher.

Fine Arts

To: Ms. Alexander (Computer Graphics)
From: Dilan Villagomez Perez

Ms. Alexander was the best teacher I ever had in my 4 years of high school. She’s funny, teaches well and cares about you. I didn’t have much interest in computer graphics but Ms. Alexander made me have an enormous interest and made me realize that I was good at that. She’s always there if you have a problem or questions and she does everything with a smile on her face that makes me smile, too. She deserves everything.

To: Mr. Bley (Music)
From: Melissa Del Rosario

I’m so thankful for his patience and his ability to bring students together to do something they love. I appreciate him so much for making the choir room like a second home that I’ve made so many amazing memories in. I’m going miss him so much because I don’t think I’ve had a teacher see me grow like Mr. Bley has. I want to thank him for being there for all my good and bad moments.

To: Mr. Mato (Dance)
From: Yzabel Laniohan

He reminded me of my passion for dance and helped me become more active and confident with myself. He has taught me to be myself and to not let anyone bring me down – to turn the things that we complain about or are insecure about into something good, and make light out of any situation. Mr. Mato is hands down the best teacher I have ever had.

To: Mr. Schultz (Art)
From: Amariah Donovan

He is so funny and understanding, he tells us jokes everyday and loves to make conversation with anyone who interacts with him.


To: Ms. Lerikos
From: Muhtasim Tawhid

I am thankful to Ms. Lerikos for not only providing a safe place to talk, but also for the perspectives on what’s ahead. She is the adult in the room I felt comfortable sharing my personal matters with. She is able to give me the positive reinforcement I lack, often encouraging me to find pride in my progress. I’m thankful for our limited time together. It gave me great momentum and assurance for the horizon. I nominate her for Brentwood’s “National Treasure.” More and more should have the fortune of meeting her.

To: Ms. Popal
From: Jose Farina Jr.

She has helped me through tough times and has been there for me every time I have needed her. She’s a great person who strives to be the best guidance counselor she can be and she’s always willing to help and put your needs first before hers. She helped me decide what college to choose and how to apply. Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

To: Ms. Popal
From: Kaily Garcia

She guided me through my junior and senior years and made everything possible for me to be able to graduate this year. I couldn’t have asked for any better counselor. She helped find my path to my future and I thank her for that so much.

To: Ms. Sands
From: Fatima Gomez

I’m thankful that she’s someone who I could talk to about absolutely anything and she gives amazing advice. She has an amazing soul and I’m extremely thankful for her. I love her.


To: Ms. Burbige
From: Ashley Peralta

I’m thankful that I had a teacher who was there for me for my whole high school career since I was a 10th grader until now. Ms. Burbige is special to me because she’s the reason why I lowkey enjoy history now. she’s always down to listen to everything I have to tell her. My best friend as a teacher.

To: Ms. Cusemano
From: Yoselin Ruiz

She encouraged me to come to school more and actually made me excited to learn.

To: Ms. Romano 
From: Irvin Sanchez-Luna

That fact that she has the patience to deal with students that repeat a class like me. Also, she is so nice and open.

To: Mr. Rooney
From: Sujey Villeda

I want to thank Mr. Rooney for being so supportive and understanding to his students. He is always involved and cares about his students and their plans. Mr. Rooney is so silly and kind. I will always remember him.

To: Ms. Rooney
From: Adrianna Pauciullo

I’m thankful she is such a supportive teacher and how she’s so into what she teaches. There’s never a dull moment in the class. We are always learning something new and the passion and excitement she puts into her lessons makes you excited to learn. I have her for AP African American Studies and I don’t think anyone could’ve taught this class better!

To: Mr. Ullrich
From: Ashley Esquea Irizarri

I felt intimidated to learn law at first but thanks to him, I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. It kind of set in stone that this is what I want to do.

To: Ms. Vario
From: Ana Morales

I want to thank her for helping me out during times where I was struggling. She has motivated me all year to keep going and to finish senior year strong. I am thankful because she helped me with my college process and because of her I made a decision and learned not to be afraid of making the decision. What makes her special to me is her personality.

To: Ms. Vario
From: Jasmin Marquez-Montes

I am thankful for Ms. Vario not just because she was a good teacher but because she is a great person in general. She’s the reason why I looked forward to going to school.


To: Mrs. Ryan
From: Taina Bruno

She’s been great to talk to over the years.


To: Mr. Gray
From: Desiree Romero

I just want to say thank you because this year has been a difficult one for me. My mother was in the hospital and I had to stay home to care for my siblings, and then my mother made me miss a lot of school. Despite that, he worked with me to allow me to make up all my work—homework, tests, and quizzes—and I will never forget how much I appreciate that.

To: Mr. Mauriello
From: Ricardo Castro

I am thankful for this teacher because he’s the only teacher that really knows how to explain how to do the work for his class and he’s also a very cool teacher to be around. He’s let me off the hook many times and he is a very understanding person.

To: Ms. McCormack
From: Chukwuemeka Flud

I admire your outlook on life. I’ve had you as a teacher for two consecutive years and I appreciate the effort you put into teaching. From your stories of traveling the world in the Peace Corps to having the librarian come to tell us about the college process even though you didn’t have to, you truly have put your all into this. I am truly thankful to have you as a teacher (even if I tend to get distracted). I wish you the best with your future students and I’ll always remember you.

To: Mr. Morgan
From: Bryan Arevalo Cruz

Mr. Morgan gives good advice to me and my classmates and entertains us with his positive energy and keeps up determined in our work.

To: Mr. Morgan
From: Laura Benitez

I am very thankful for this teacher because he has taught me so many valuable things that I never thought I would learn from a math teacher. I thank him for taking time out of his day to teach us things when I know he probably has other things to do. He has opened my mind to many things and has made me look at things differently in a better way. I never knew how much a person can change your life in just 45 minutes.

To: Mr. Wilson
From: Ayannah Billings

Ever since I met Mr. Wilson he has been nothing but sweet and genuine and always held it down for me no matter what. He was a teacher that I could feel comfortable enough expressing myself with. I never once had a teacher that gave me the opportunity to do so, so for me to get to experience a teacher making an impact on a student’s life is amazing!

To: Mr. Wilson
From: Amariah Donovan

He is so easy to talk to and he is very understanding. He always makes conversation with me and my friends.

Multiple Teachers

To: Mrs. Buonaspina and Mr. Mauriello 
From: Ashley Velasquez

They’re teachers who take time to actually help students when they need help. They are patient and allow learning to be fun but also know when to be serious, which is the perfect balance.

To: Mrs. O’Brien and Mrs. Opisso
From: Jesenia Maldonado

For the priceless gift of knowledge, for shaping me as the person I am today, and for really caring for their students.

To: Mrs. Deblasi and Mrs. Rotella
From: Danny Lainez

They both made science turn from the worst subject to the best subject.

Physical Education

To: Mrs. Lundquist
From: Mylie Rivas

I’m extremely thankful for Mrs. Lundquist ever since 7th. She changed my life and made me into the person I am today. She impacted my life so much and I’m forever grateful for that. I consider her like a mother. I love her so much and appreciate her. I hope everything goes her way in the future because she deserves it.


To: SMSgt. Wayne Hanna
From: Desiree Romero

I want to say thank you for all of the help you’ve given me throughout these years. You’ve seen me grow from a timid girl to someone who speaks up for herself and for others. I would’ve never been able to do so without your help. Thank you so much.


To: Mr. Carrara
From: Jennifer Pacheco

I’m thankful for the way he teaches. He shows that he cares about his students without having to say anything. He has a unique personality that really helped me pay attention to the chemistry lessons. I’m thankful for the way he easily gets along with his students. He is very experienced and it shows. His class was my favorite throughout all of high school.

To: Mr. Greb
From: Samuel Lopez

Made the year much more enjoyable. Supportive of all his students. Great teaching method.

To: Mr. Greb
From: Taina Bruno

He’s hilarious.

To: Mr. Hayes
From: Diego Maldonado

Yessir, Mr. Hayes. You were always very nice and understanding and I hope you keep up the great teaching you do. I will always have you in mind as one of my favorite teachers during high school.

To: Mr. Oneil
From: Daisy Ayala

His was the only science class I did well in because he taught with such compassion and made learning fun.

To: Mr. Skillman
From: Genesis Gomez

He’s always been my supporter, makes the class laugh, and he teaches amazingly! He always finds a way to make me feel better when I get stressed out.

To: Mrs. Ullrich
From: Alisha Ahsan

She’s one of the most dedicated and hardworking teachers I’ve ever had. While not only being my AP Biology teacher but also the National Science Honor Society coordinator, Mrs. Ullrich demonstrates so much commitment to her students and that’s what truly makes her special. She always makes sure to give her all to her students and teach us with a smile regardless of the circumstances. I owe a huge thank you to her for not only being there for me but for providing me with immense support throughout my high school career.

To: Mr. Verdone
From: Samuel Lopez

Horrible jokes, not a funny guy. Great teacher. Gave me a love for science.

World Language

To: Ms. Cohen
From: Eric Gallegos

I am thankful for this teacher believing in me and motivating me to continue my path toward graduation. This teacher is special to me because she would always tell us how we mattered to her and that she considered us like her children and would support us if we ever needed her help.

To: Mrs. Korovezos
From: Taina Bruno

She’s kind, funny, and cares about her students’ lives.

To: Mrs. Korovezos
From: Aliana Davila

Sra. Korovezos is one of the kindest teachers I have ever met. She makes everyone feel very comfortable and she’s trustworthy. I see her as another mom. She’s such a caring person and she treats us as her own and makes sure she pushes us to succeed.

To: Mrs. Korovezos
From: Angelina Sukhram

I’m thankful for Signora Korovezos because she never gave up on me even in my hardest times. She was always a shoulder I could lean on and always knew how to make me laugh.

To: Mrs. Mastriano
From: Jessica Granados

I’m thankful for her because she always knew how to make my days better and never doubted my ability when it came to my education. She always strived for me to succeed and to let me express myself.

To: Mr. Pellagrino
From: Taina Bruno

He gave me all the info I needed on foreign exchange.

To: Mrs. Ramirez
From: Emerson Pena Rodriguez

Thanks for be a good teacher and teaching me a lot of things.

To: Mrs. Restrepo
From: Brandon Rivera

I am thankful because she has been so understanding of my health situations throughout my entire senior year and allowed me to succeed in her class even with my problems.

To: Mrs. Rivas
From: Edwin Rodriguez

I am thankful because Mrs. Rivas helped me accomplish my goal when I thought it wasn’t possible but with her help, she made it possible. What makes her special is her dedication and commitment to seeing her students succeed. Thank you, Mrs. Rivas.

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