By Darsh Mirchandani
This issue’s teacher spotlight focuses on Mr. Travis Chuba and Mrs. Shirley Pincay, the Class of 2023’s advisers. Mrs. Pincay has been teaching Spanish at New Hyde Park for 18 years. She currently teaches AP Spanish and Spanish 5. Mr. Chuba has been teaching here for nearly six years and currently teaches AP US History and Pre-AP World History.
Source by Mary Kay Mannle
Mrs. Pincay and Mr. Chuba recollect on their journeys throughout their teaching careers as the senior class advisers.
Q: Can you please describe your experience when you first began advising the class of 2023?
Mrs. Shirley Pincay: At the very beginning, I wasn’t entirely sure of what to do. I wanted to become an adviser since my son is a part of the Class of 2023 and I wanted to experience handing my son his diploma when he graduated. Originally, we were trying to figure out what to do and how we were supposed to do it. Back then, it was more difficult since we had to decorate the float for homecoming which was a massive undertaking. The floats took a lot of effort and motivation. We were often sitting with parents and decorating until 11 p.m.
Mr. Travis Chuba: I became a Class of 2023 adviser my first year teaching at New Hyde Park. I wanted to become an adviser since I wanted to build a closer connection to the community and the students, especially considering that it was my first year. I became an adviser my first week in the building, and I now realize how fortuitous it was that I was provided with this opportunity. I would probably describe starting out as class adviser as overwhelming. I truly had no idea what being an adviser entailed, so in the beginning there definitely was a learning curve. Together, Mrs. Pincay and I grew together into our roles as advisers.
Q: What was it like advising the Class of 2023 during the pandemic?
SP: It was extremely scary since a lot of things were up in the air. The biggest impact was probably the lack of fundraising. Since we didn’t have fundraisers during that time, it meant that we were in need of funds, which we made up by increasing our fundraising efforts. Post-pandemic, many events and activities just simply ceased to exist.
TC: We had just completed our third float when the pandemic caused the shutdown in the middle of their ninth grade year. Having no fundraising definitely scares us, since there are a lot of expenses associated with senior year. It meant that we just weren’t able to do certain things such as floats and other community events.
Q: What’s in store for the class of 2023?
SP: We just had our senior dinner dance which was coined as a “winter semi-formal” by the students. We were able to get a very good deal on the venue and we greatly appreciated the parents helping out to pay the bills. We had received $3,000. With that money we were able to buy food, get a DJ and purchase decorations.
TC: We have many upcoming events planned for the senior class. We are in the process of finalizing the logistics behind prom and the senior barbecue. We are looking forward to ending our advisership successfully. All of our accomplishments would not have been possible without the dedication and help of the students and parents alike. A special thanks goes to Ms. Vosswinkel-Blum for her guidance and help.
Q: Do you advise any clubs or sports?
SP: Yes, I am the adviser for the Spanish Club. This year we are very excited about going to Spain in April.
TC: I am currently the coach of both the girls and boys district swim team. This season, our teams have been extremely successful and have done a great job when it comes to working together. Overall I am extremely happy with our performances during the regular season and at counties.
Q: What high school and college did you attend?
SP: I spent the entirety of high school as well as one year of college in Ecuador. I then attended LaGuardia Community College before receiving my bachelor’s and master’s degree from Queens College. I also attended Long Island University for an administration degree.
TC: I went to Saint Anthony’s High School. I then went to Stony Brook University for my undergraduate degree in American History. For my master’s, I attended Queens College.
Q: What are your interests outside of school?
SP: I like to travel a lot. I also love to dance, I used to be a part of a dance team. Those are definitely my two biggest personal interests.
TC: My passions have always been water-based, such as going swimming and diving. Other than that, I like to go home and relax and indulge in some video games. I recently enjoyed “Elden Ring" and games like that. I do have a baby on the way, so I presume that my passions will change as I open that new chapter.
Source by Mary Kay Mannle
Mrs. Pincay and Mr. Chuba having fun in one of NHP's P.S. I Love You Day decorated hallways.