Class of 2026 freshmen share their favorite classes and teachers this school year


Celeste Haim

Robyn Mickow teaches her Advanced World Geography class about countries in Asia. She used videos to engage her students to help them with the learning process.

Celeste Haim, Writer

As a student enters class, they may feel overwhelmed, unhappy or discouraged from learning. They may want to go home because they dislike their classes, opposed to feeling excited to attend; this silent attestment may be felt by students entering classes they do not enjoy, in contrast to the joy students might feel walking into a class they appreciate.

To alleviate students’ concerns, teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School continue to make their classrooms places where students are excited to come and learn. While several teachers are still working to reach this point by adjusting their teaching style or making their classroom more appealing to the eye, several students believe some have already succeeded.

Michael Powell teaches Algebra 2 Honors and Geometry Honors to mostly freshman and sophomore students. His classroom is comforting to students because of the decorations surrounding his classroom such as the LED lights strung all around the room and the whiteboard. There are also holiday-oriented decorations strung throughout the room to bring about good energy and vibes. Additionally, he offers fun activities during the holiday season.

“For Halloween, [Powell] brought in pizzas for our class. It was really fun and unexpected,” freshman Nathan Nutter said. “Usually I don’t look forward to math, but this year [Powell] kind of changed that. I like his class.”

Powell makes his class educational and engaging by explaining the little details in the curriculum that other teachers may leave out. His classes are highly interactive, as they often use whiteboards to review problems together instead of solo work on paper.

Another recognized teacher is Robyn Mickow who teaches World Geography. She makes students feel included by allowing students to ask questions and talk to her whenever needed, which is often offered but not embraced by students.

Freshmen like Laurel Ingle and Keiara Martinez love to come to Mickow’s class because she makes learning more entertaining with her personality and unique projects. Their last project was planning a hypothetical two-week trip to Europe to learn more about European countries.

“I love Mickow’s class. She’s so nice and she’s a great teacher. I wouldn’t wish for any other teacher. We do so many fun things in class,” Ingle said. “We did a project where we could pretend to travel the world, and we got to go to the multicultural show to watch performances from different cultures.”

Mickow has creative teaching ideas and executes special plans to keep her students interested in learning and understanding the taught curriculum.

Another appreciated teacher is Ronit Reoven who teaches Geography to freshmen class and AP Psychology to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Some of her students believe she is an awesome person because of her kind personality.

“[Reoven] makes me really happy and makes me laugh a lot. Nothing ever gets boring in her class and she is a great teacher,” freshman Emily Lemoine said.

Additionally, Donna DeStefano is a first-year English 1 teacher. Although she has recently joined the MSD faculty, she is already considered an exceptional educator by her students. Her students especially like their casual interactions with DeStefano because she takes the time to understand them more on a one-on-one basis.

“[DeStefano is] one of the best teachers I’ve ever had in my life. Her class really sparks my creativity,” freshman Christian Gayle said. “She is a great teacher. Sometimes our class is a bit out of hand. They are really funny and it’s sort of like a GTA server. She always handles the problems and gets back to teaching quickly.”

Since its founding in 1990, MSD has welcomed teachers for over three decades. This school year, several Class of 2026 students, current freshman, highlight their own teachers who have exemplified personability and promoted a fun and immersive learning environment.