By Contributing Writers Gabbi Kleiner, (’24) and Tara Thorne, (’24)
Meet our J-D physics teacher: Elise Jutzeler. Even if you can’t pronounce her name, that’s okay — just call her Ms. J or wave violently at her. She started working at J-D seven years ago, and is in fact, a J-D alumnus herself. Along with physics, Jutzeler also teaches the beloved astronomy elective.
Jutzeler taught at a host of schools around Western NY before being offered a job at J-D, but out of all the schools, she says J-D is her favorite. “I think just the compassion that people have here is really great… I like being challenged, like when someone asks a question and I have to figure out a new way of explaining it or [use] my expert Googling skills,” says Jutzeler.
J-D’s most unique trait, according to Jutzeler, is our keenness on making J-D an accepting environment, which she sees in both the staff and student body. When asked if being a teacher was her childhood dream, she revealed that she actually learned physics in the very same classroom she teaches in currently, which she exclaims is every teacher’s dream. And how she looks back positively on her past teaching experiences, J-D is the school that has allowed her to thrive and grow.
Although on the outside, physics might seem like a drab course, Jutzeler’s compassionate demeanor, along with her expertise and teaching glee, makes it more of a fun staple at J-D. In fact, in the middle of a conversation after school, she once pulled out a pair of scissors and cut the tag off her shirt just because it was bothering her, and has apologized on multiple occasions for talking too much. As you can probably imagine, her teaching is a fun combination of her personality and the course itself.
“I just like getting to know people and talking about non-physics things with people, so I think that is kind of fun, just shooting the breeze, talking about books and movies,” says Ms. Jutzeler, who is currently keeping a copy of “Gone Girl” at her desk so her home bookshelf doesn’t collapse.
Juletzer hopes to see more J-D students taking physics and looks to potentially make a half-year physics class available to lessen the pressure of the full-year commitment. She enjoys connecting with students and aspires to find ways to connect with students who aren’t big on physics. So even if you’re not the next Einstein, you’re still welcome in room R11 for a talk about your favorite book.