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AFTER TWO years at Townsend Harris, English and Instructional Support Services teacher Georgia Brandeis is leaving in the coming weeks to take a job at a borough field support office that helps special education programs in north Queens.
Ms. Brandeis explained the decision to leave: “I was ready to take on an administrative position. I have an administrative license, so I was offered a position in a borough field support office….When I was given that opportunity, it was hard to pass it up.”
She added, “I’ve had some really incredible teaching experiences [at THHS]. It’s not something that I can easily walk away from. I will miss the students a lot. I’m really consistently inspired by them.”
Ms. Brandeis is largely responsible for the school’s special education program, which she helped to launch when she arrived two years ago. She leaves behind a host of responsibilities that will need to be filled midyear.
Assistant Principal of Pupil and Personnel Services Veronica York commented on the need to fill the hole that Ms. Brandeis leaves. “The biggest problem is finding someone mid-year, but we are working and interviewing the best of the best, until we find someone. We are sad about her departure because when someone as great as Ms. Brandeis leaves, it is very sad,” she said.
She also affirmed the school’s commitment to the students who rely on Ms. Brandeis, saying “Everyone has different needs and [the school] will continue to support the students while Ms. Brandeis leaves.”
An overwhelming amount of the student body recognized Ms. Brandeis’s vivacity and expressed great sadness upon hearing that she would be leaving THHS.
Senior Sylvia Yu commented, “She was always bright and cheerful and I always looked forward to going to her class at the end of the day. She really cared about her students and encouraged us to bring out our creativity and embrace it.”
Senior Sidney Tolentino added, “In this school, it’s easy for all of us to forget about ourselves in favor of points on a test or the next deadline. Ms. Brandeis has not only instilled a love of writing in me that I wouldn’t have found if I hadn’t taken her creative expression class, but with her endless amounts of care and compassion, she constantly reminds me that I am a complete and vibrant human being.”
“I loved her. There’s [now] no one to go back for when I leave THHS,” remarked senior Sumona Rahman.
Senior Marie Kessel also shared stories about Ms. Brandeis. “One of my fondest memories is when I was getting the Scholastic Art Award, Ms. Brandeis and her husband came to watch me, as I received the award. I will never forget that.”
Speaking of her students, Ms. Brandeis said, “Here, there is a lot of flexibility to cater to the students. They get a lot more freedom than in other schools. You can see that freedom in the way that they lead and are consistently taking charge and spearheading wonderful initiatives, the service that all the students want to be involved with and the school spirit. I think that you can really see the good energy. The very first day I stepped in here, I remember being shocked that students were in school until seven PM preparing something. I think there is a very special sense of family.”