By Anna Laurich and Maddy Misiura
At Batavia high school, teachers are not just involved in mainstream classes. Ms. Firnbach is involved with students at Batavia. Firnbach is an Algebra teacher, a Cross Country coach at the middle school, a track coach at the high school, she helps with the Dog Pound, and is a sponsor for Student Council at Batavia high school.
“Firnbach is an extremely hard working coach that enjoys interacting with athletes,” said coach Bernardoni, a cross country coach at the middle school. She is not a coach that will sit on the sidelines and watch athletes practice. She will be demonstrating or working out with athletes.” Her students say that Firnbach sees each student or athlete as an individual and understands their needs in order to help them be successful. She is always open to changing up ways of teaching to see what fits best with her students.
“Firnbach is different than other coaches because she knows when to be goofy and fun with athletes and when to be serious with athletes. This is a very important skill for middle and high school coaches,” Bernardoni said. Bernardoni said that Firnbach is extremely kind and is always willing to help where needed.
“Most teachers will move step by step and basically tell us how to do things, but Mrs. Firnbach gives you the basic information that you need and then makes you think, and problem solve for yourself, which I think is a lot better than just being told how to solve. It helps you remember how to do it,” said Claire Dean, a student in Firnbach’s Algebra class.
Firnbach said that the biggest impact she can make is to be open with students and make sure they feel comfortable talking with her. This is Firnbach’s fifth year of teaching at Batavia high school.
“She seems very committed to other people, and other students,” Dean said, “She’s participating so many things and always supporting the teams at our school, and providing her students with plenty of materials to help them succeed. So overall I just think she cares about everyone and always wants them to do their best.”
“Ms. Firnbach adds so much. She is always willing to come in early and stay late after school to make time for our meetings,” said Olivia Murchie, the Vice President of Student Council. “She is always very organized with emails and she is a dream to organize things with. You can always depend on her, and she’s always willing to help.”
Firnbach is one of the sponsors for Student Council, so she goes to all the meetings. She helps with organization, the delegations of tasks, and general upkeep. Firnbach offers advice and assistance when students need it. Murchie is the
“Student Council means a lot to me,” Murchie said. “I love the leadership that I was given. To me, it is an opportunity to make the school better. It is a chance to organize events that everyone looks forward to. Most importantly it’s a place where I get a lot of real-world experience in leadership, organization, and teamwork.” Murchie is very involved in Student Council. Others have mentioned that she is very hardworking and a great spirit. Murchie feels that Firnbach is very admirable and puts in a lot of her personal time into her extracurriculars. She also mentioned that Firnbach helps a lot behind the scenes, which is a big help to the Student Council.
Firnbach is also involved with the Dog Pound at BHS. “Working with the Dog Pound and teaching is very different,” Firbach said. “I wouldn’t want to do one without the other. Teaching is a passion of mine, and helping students learn on a daily basis is an incredible experience. Working with students in extracurricular activities allows me to be involved at BHS more than just at the classroom level. I am able to work with kids in different environments which is always exciting.”
“The opportunity to work with the Dog Pound presented itself a couple of years ago. I have always embraced school spirit, so I thought it would be a fun way to stay involved with students at BHS. I was also a leader of a similar group at my high school, which I really enjoyed,” Firnbach said. The Dog Pound is a student section for the football games at the high school. When signing up for the Dog Pound membership there was a waitlist because so many people signed up, that can be seen by the number of people cheering and crammed into one area of the bleachers. Firnbach mentioned that her favorite part of football games is seeing all the students get hyped up during the game. She also told us that the energy level is contagious.
“I look up to her work ethic because she is able to have everything under control,” Murchie said. “She is very organized and smart with her time. We always see her working very hard behind the scenes to get everything done, and she really is the mastermind that secretly runs most of the fun things we get to do at school. She puts in a lot of her own personal time, and it’s very admirable.”