By Sarah Horvath ‘21
“It’s a little weird to be back as a teacher, but I think being an alum gives me a unique outlook of the school and students,” says Heschel’s newest health educator and alumna Samantha Brandspiegel. She will be teaching Health Education to the ninth grade this year, and plans to make her classes “very interactive and fun”. Brandspigel would like to teach the freshman “what they want to learn, in addition to the topics I feel are important at this stage in their life and in what’s going on around the country and the world.”
After graduating from Heschel High School in 2013, Brandspeigel attended Rutgers University, where she earned her degree in public health, in addition to being a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). She has worked in numerous hospital systems, creating curricula and programs and working with people of all ages. “I have also worked as a Hebrew School teacher and tutor, working both with big groups and one-on-one, throughout college and afterwards. I was fortunate enough to teach an accredited Freshmen seminar at Rutgers when I was a senior, about public health and adapting to college life,” Brandspeigel added. When Brandspiegel is not at Heschel, she is a health educator in the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Emergency Department, where she focuses on HIV and Hepatitis C screening and education; she is also beginning to work with people living with substance use.
Brandspiegel was drawn back to Heschel, as she feels that she can “bring the knowledge about these important subjects to a school that helped shape me as a person, and gave me the inspiration and push to go into this field.” Not only does Brandspiegel plan to work with the class of 2023, she hopes to run other sessions for the upperclassmen to engage and educate them too. “I’m really excited to be back at Heschel and to bring a new level of health education to all students,” Brandspiegel concluded.