Mrs. Rieger, Class of ‘22
By Elyas Layachi
Volume 2 Issue 7
June 13, 2022
Original photography by Elyas Layachi
Mrs. Rieger is a mathematics teacher here at Valley Stream North High School, and she has taught a wide range of courses, from 8th grade mathematics to AP Computer Science A. This year, along with a few other teachers, she is retiring, or “graduating with the class of 2022.” This article features Mrs. Rieger, along with an interview with her regarding her experiences at North and her thoughts about retirement.
Interview with Mrs. Rieger
I decided to interview Mrs. Rieger regarding her thoughts on her time at North, as well as her feelings about retirement. The following questions were drafted by Mrs. Mansfield and the North Star staff. Her responses are below:
When were you hired, and how many years have you worked here?
I was hired in 2002, so this is my 20th year working at VS North.
What was your most memorable moment at North?
When my former student Giovanni Mascetti got a perfect score on his AP Computer Science Principles exam. A close second was when 94% of my AP Computer Science Principles classes passed the AP exam.
What will you miss the most?
All the friends that I made working at North.
What are you most looking forward to in retirement?
We are moving to be closer to my two daughters, and I am looking forward to being a part of their lives, and my grandchildren.
What was your favorite student age group to teach and why?
My favorite age group to teach is 11th and 12th grade because the students are mature enough to have an adult conversation. They are open about their lives and where they want to go in the future.
What was your favorite course to teach and why?
AP Computer Science A is my favorite course to teach because it is demanding and interesting to me. Students often feel like it is learning a new language.
Tell a funny story about another teacher who still works here. When we went out with Covid in March of 2020, no one knew what to do. All the math teachers started talking to each other and one teacher had created their own YouTube Channel for their class videos that year. That teacher took an extremely popular song and revamped it for her Calculus BC class (yes, I mean Ms. Fomina). Ms. Fomina knew that students were struggling during COVID, as was everybody else, and used her talent for creating music to cheer everyone up during those hard times. Every year since she has written songs for her class and math teachers who retired. We handed out song sheets last year so the teachers could sing the modified song for Ms. Barbara. The students do not know how talented some of their teachers really are.
Watch Mrs. Fomina's farwell song here: My Math Will Go On
If you would travel, what destination is top on your list?
Walt Disney World Resort with my daughter Kimberly. It is something I need to do with her because she did not come with us when she was a baby. After that is written off my list, I would like to explore the USA. I love history and want to visit places like Charleston, SC. Other places I would love to visit are Yosemite National Park. There are many wonderful places to go, and while I am there, I can visit relatives and friends.
How do you feel now about your career choice?
I made an excellent choice to become a teacher. It has been extremely rewarding, and I plan to work part-time as a teacher down in South Carolina, teaching math and computer science.
Farewell Mrs. Rieger has contributed about two decades of her life to teaching in this building, helping students expand both their knowledge and their interest in mathematics and computer science. Personally, she helped me realize that I can do more than I think I am capable of. I originally was hesitant to join AP Computer Science A this year since I had no previous knowledge of the Java coding language. However, she inspired me to try my best and helped me do well in the class. Without her and other teachers like her, this building would not be the same. Thank you for everything, Mrs. Rieger, and enjoy your graduation! Be sure to come back and visit!