New teacher Adrienne Zentefis begins her teaching journey in the culinary room

Culinary 1 teacher Adrienne Zentefis starts her teaching career at MSD in room 937. She hopes to establish relationships with her students and help them cultivate a passion for cooking. I love kids, so Im happy to be a part of the MSD family, Zentefis said.
Culinary 1 teacher Adrienne Zentefis starts her teaching career at MSD in room 937. She hopes to establish relationships with her students and help them cultivate a passion for cooking. “I love kids, so I’m happy to be a part of the MSD family,” Zentefis said.
Victoria Damaso

As students step into Adrienne Zentefis’s classroom, they are immediately greeted by the sweet aroma of morning coffee and the colorful food posters hung around her classroom. There are bookshelves filled with a diverse collection of vibrant books and desks are grouped together to encourage collaboration.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s new teacher Adrienne Zentefis instructs Culinary 1. Growing up with a grandmother who taught her to cook at five years old, she teaches culinary because of her passion for cooking.

Zentefis was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. She then moved south to Fort Lauderdale, then to West Palm and then to Miami. She lived in Miami Dade for about 20 years. 

“I was able to adapt more quickly to certain situations and people and was exposed to different cultures,” Zentefis said. “Going from one place to another growing up was a learning experience.”

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As a child, she realized she wanted to major in education due to her affection for working with children. 

“I think that is an exciting thing to see when a child connects those dots and learns; it’s thrilling,” culinary teacher Adrienne Zentifis said. “Something kind of perks up in their mind and they get excited. There’s a reason I’m here rather than just having to be here.”

Zentefis attended Florida International University, where she majored in interdisciplinary studies and minored in human resources. Although she was originally an education major, she changed paths due to money reasons. Most of her college-level work was situated in business, human resources and management, but she was also the teachers’ assistant for several different classes. 

As soon as Zentefis was given another opportunity to resume her educational career, she decided to come to MSD and teach in her own classroom. Although this is her first time teaching a class, she has been substituting at schools for some time.

“I was a sub for about a little bit over a year,” Zentefis said. “I was a substitute here last year and I really enjoyed working with the administration and the staff and I liked the students…that’s what made me decide to come back and interview for the culinary teacher position.”

Zentefis chose to come to MSD specifically because of how welcoming the environment feels. She described the school as a place with positive energy, where all the students are eager to learn and are kind.

“I felt that they [students] were respectful and they wanted to be here,” Zentefis said. “There was a positive energy about the school and it reminded me of my high school experience.”

As a teacher, one of her primary goals is to ensure students are actively listening and engaged in the classroom. Her teaching method is what she describes as “controlled chaos,” where one day of instruction is a relaxed atmosphere and the next is a controlled one.

“I call it controlled chaos because there are always a lot of students and energy in the class and everybody has a lot of thoughts and feelings,” Zentefis said. “There’s maybe many things happening in one given moment but I’m able to manage the students, I think, in a manner where they are able to listen and learn and engage with me more than just listening.”

Outside of teaching, Zentefis has many hobbies such as swimming and traveling. However, she has proclaimed her top three are spending time with her family and pets, reading and gardening. 

Zentefis prioritizes keeping herself occupied, especially with reading. She reads about 100-150 books a year and has read ten in the past two weeks. Her ability to read novels quickly has helped her when going over her curriculum. 

“I took a speed reading course when I was very young, actually in high school,” Zentefis said. “I do speed reading and it’s great because I can go through material quite quickly when I want to.”

Zentefis is still adjusting to the processes of teaching at MSD. Nevertheless, she is excited to mentor her students and ensure they flourish in this upcoming school year.

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About the Contributor
Victoria Damaso
Victoria Damaso, Multimedia Editor
Victoria Damaso is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a first-year reporter. She enjoys figure skating, listening to music and hanging out with friends in her free time.
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    AdriOct 27, 2023 at 7:15 pm

    Thank you Victoria for being so professional with your reporting.