Corbett Junior High School teacher Alyssa Ferdarko’s learning curve as a rookie Social Studies teacher may have looked steep at the outset of her career when it began in August of 2022. However, if you walk into her classroom at Corbett Junior High School, you’ll notice eighth-grade students engaged in discussions about the lesson with Ms. Fedarko and their peers.
Weaving the transcendental movement with American history is no easy task, but Ms. Ferdarko helped makes historical figures such as Nat Turner, Susan B. Anthony and the Hudson River School movement come alive. Imparting knowledge on people who changed their respective political landscapes resonates with youngsters on the cusp of young adulthood.
“I really built relationships with my kids,” Ferdarko said. “They seem to respect me and I hope my classroom is somewhere they look forward to each day, whether it’s a safe space to talk to me or to learn and have a good time.”
She credits Scott Leach, now-retired teacher from Byron P. Steele High School, with being the inspiration she now hopes to be to her students. “Throughout my four years there, he was always someone I could turn to,” Ferdarko said. “He was an advocate for me when I was struggling, and he was a teacher anyone could talk to and feel heard.”