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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Playmakers Podcast: Scott Viveros (Episode 5)
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R.J. Barksdale '25, Ben Roden '24, and Brian Mohl '24 February 16, 2024
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Carter Casbarro ’25, Reporter • February 16, 2024
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Mallory Sciaraffa '24, Reporter • February 16, 2024
T.J. Butkus loads his wood furnace to try to keep warm during the winter. (contributed)
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Brynn Clampett '26, Reporter • February 16, 2024
Nonnewaug staff members each have their own stories about why their rooms are decorated in unique ways.
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Gianna Lodice '24 and Layla Coppola '24 February 15, 2024

Golembeski the Kind of Teacher Students Wish For

Nonnewaug agriscience teacher Leanne Golembeski receives a CDE award as an NHS student in 2015. She espouses her passion for ag in the classes she teaches, but her love for agriculture began long before she returned to campus in 2022. (Courtesy of Katie Golembeski)
Nonnewaug agriscience teacher Leanne Golembeski receives a CDE award as an NHS student in 2015. She espouses her passion for ag in the classes she teaches, but her love for agriculture began long before she returned to campus in 2022. (Courtesy of Katie Golembeski)

WOODBURY — The National FFA Convention is a place typically reserved for high school students. But Nonnewaug agriscience instructor Leanne Golembeski was first able to go to the convention at just 5 years old, which proved to be the spark that she needed to find her passion.  

“She accompanied me many times when I was the Woodbury chaperone. She was actively involved in the Woodbury FFA,” said Katie Golembeski, Leanne’s mother. “Leanne participated in various CDE teams and traveled to the National Convention four times as a state winner, representing Connecticut in Conduct of Chapter Meetings, Parliamentary Procedure, Farm Business Management and Employability Skills.” 

These early memories allowed the younger Golembeski to make an easy decision on what she wanted to do in life. 

The strong relationships Leanne Golembeski fortified as a Nonnewaug student serve as key tenets of her teaching style now that she’s a faculty member. (Courtesy of Leanne Golembeski)

“I always wanted to be able to help out other people and challenge them as much as they challenged me,” said Leanne Golembeski, “so I always loved the fact of being able to work together with other people. I think teaching is one of the top career choices.” 

With Golembeski craving to become part of the FFA at such a young age, her dreams came true during the summer of 2022 when she joined Nonnewaug’s faculty. Following Golembeski’s graduation from Nonnewaug in 2015, she pursued a variety of studies in the field of aquaculture and then earned her graduate degree from UConn in agricultural education. 

Golembeski’s dedication in college followed her back to Nonnewaug, and as one of Nonnewaug’s newest faculty members, Golembeski has already found her footing due to her tireless work ethic.

“Your first year teaching is like you’re in the thick of it, you’re in the battlegrounds,” said Kathleen Gorman, the agricultural production teacher. “You have only two choices: Either you fall on your face or you grow. Ms. Golembeski has chosen to grow, and she has done a great job. Her laboratory spaces [and] her classroom spaces all reflect that.”

Golembeski’s first year as a faculty member came abruptly as she was hired late in the summer of 2022 and had just days to prepare for her new role at her alma mater. 

“[When] I first got hired, I would say there was maybe a week before school started,” Golembeski remembers. “So in terms of having to catch up, my very first year, I felt like I was playing catchup the entire year. This year I feel I am equally as busy, but in a more secure way, so I kind of know the direction more so where I want to go in my goals for the class.”

Beyond just having lofty goals for her students, Golembeski understands that her students’ needs are at the heart of her instruction.

“I’m just trying to work out what’s the best way to get to those goals [and] what’s best for my students,” Golembeski said. 

Now in her second year of teaching, Golembeski has been able to determine what teaching methods work best for her and her classes. Knowing about the sudden change in aquaculture instructors, students are inspired by Golembeski’s determination and selflessness — and Golembeski’s ability to adjust to unforeseen challenges. 

“A lot of times we have stressful situations,” said Chloe Walsh, a junior aquaculture student. “For example, when there is water on the ground or when a fish is on the floor flopping, [her] calm and her easiness allows for the whole class not to panic in those situations.”

Golembeski has earned a reputation for her calming demeanor, something students can sense. This also makes it where people are able to go to her when they are in need. Her soothing disposition not only allows her students to take intellectual risks in the classroom, but it enables her students to discover their passion. 

“She’s always been there for me to be able to talk to her,” said Karisa Cizauskas, a junior agriscience student. “She has helped me with my career path. At first I wanted to do aquaculture, and she helped me and was giving me ideas, and programs to help me follow that. But she also helped me realize that’s not what I want to do.”

Golembeski’s kindness is felt by students and faculty alike. Qualities like kindness, patience, and empathy are at her core and helped reassure her — and her mother — that teaching was part of her future. 

Her happiness as a teacher is readily evident,” says Katie Golembeski.

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About the Contributor
Abegail Diezel '25, Reporter
Abegail Diezel is a junior, a first-year writer with the Chief Advocate, and an active FFA member. She is an older sister to a brother who is a freshman. Abegail loves to participate in the aquaculture program with Ms. Leanne Golembeski. Abegail is excited to write and interview, and plans to study marine science in the future. While most of her interests include her family, she really loves her friends and spends her free time with them as much as possible.
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