Pinewood School has got it all when it comes to talent, and Pinewood’s teachers also have their own secret abilities.
High counselor and psychologist Tina Maier is a talented actress who participated in many productions in her high school and college years. Maier started her acting career when she was a little girl, often performing plays at her local playground.
In high school, she participated in all of the plays, portraying many dramatic characters, southern belles, and characters with accents.
Maier studied theater in college and even worked at a prestigious company called Brown Bag Theater, where she won best actress one year.
“[Theater] was soamething that was great to study, but it’s not something I want to make a career out of. I realized from studying theater that I love the process of analyzing behavior and figuring out what makes people tick.
So, I used my knowledge of drama, theater, and emotion and transferred that into my field of helping people deal with their issues,” Maier said.
High school literature teacher Eric Schreiber speaks five different languages and has traveled and taught in many different places.
Schreiber started learning French in seventh grade, took Japanese in his senior year of college, took Spanish when he was around 37 years old, and studied German when he was in Switzerland for four years.
“I’ve always loved studying language because it’s a window into learning about different cultures, and travel has always been really fun for me,” Schreiber said.
Schreiber has been to many Spanish-speaking countries, and lived in Japan and Switzerland for a while. He even taught Japanese for 12 years.
In the end, however, Schreiber enjoyed teaching English the most.
“When you speak to people in their native language you go more in depth and you get to know them better. I feel like I get to know students better when I teach in English which is why I transitioned [to teaching English],” Schreiber said.
Computer science department chair Phil Ribaudo is an excellent chef who was in the food industry for many years.
“I think of cooking as an art form: visually, spiritually, and sensorially integral to the human experience,” Ribaudo said.
Ribaudo was a part of the hospitality industry for several years, working specifically in the hotel and restaurant business.
“My work as a chef, and later as a hotel and restaurant manager, was where I found my passion of teaching through training and instructing,” Ribaudo said.
Even though Ribaudo now teaches at Pinewood, he never stopped cooking. Ribaudo even won the Super Bowl cooking contest at Pinewood several years ago.
“Ultimately, being in the private chef world was one of the best experiences in my life. It was like being a rockstar,” Ribaudo said.
It’s often amazing how little we really know about our teachers. They’re always surprising us, whether it be with pop quizzes or with secret talents.