Mia Gargan, SecretaryMia Gargan works Tuesdays and Thursdays at Princeton High School and spends the rest of her week across the street at John Witherspoon Middle School. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City, Gargan attended Catholic school until she was 13 before uprooting and moving to New Jersey. Out of college, Gargan worked for Prudential Financial as an executive assistant and later as an assistant for her husband’s insurance agency.
Gargan’s position requires specific skill sets for success.
“You’ve got to be flexible,” Gargan said. “I work with two nurses, but I also work with all the other nurses in the school district and all the sub-nurses. Even at the middle school, I work with three different supervisors with three different personalities.”
In addition to working as a secretary, Gargan plays many other roles in her daily life, including being a mother of her two sons, ages 15 and 20. She enjoys cooking for her kids and trying new recipes, as well as taking time to attend her younger son’s soccer games. Gargan was also the first Tampax Tampon Girl to appear on print ads in magazines.
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate Chip
Favorite Song: All songs from Lemonade by Beyonce
Who would win a fight, Batman or Superman? Superman
Ryan Gelenetis, Math teacherHaving previously worked at Mount Saint Mary Academy, Ryan Gelenetis now teaches Geometry and Precalculus at Princeton High School. Gelenetis was raised in Brick, New Jersey and attended high school at Christian Brothers Academy. He then double majored in education and mathematics at Elmira College.
Outside of math, Gelenetis is interested in volleyball and bodybuilding. He played on his high school volleyball team and went on to play on the Elmira College team. Volleyball is his main interest, but bodybuilding is another hobby that Gelenetis picked up more recently.
As a new teacher at PHS, Gelenetis believes that his daily challenges will include trying to fit into the culture at school and learning how to align the material he teaches to the curriculum. Alongside tests and quizzes, he plans to incorporate more projects into his mathematics classes as an assessment tool.
“One of the things I did at my last job, and will continue to do here, is to try to incorporate more projects to mirror real life scenarios as much as possible so that they can relate to math more,” Gelenetis said.
Gelenetis hopes to participate in school clubs, attend sporting events, and see school plays—activities that just partially make up PHS’s diverse extracurricular life.
“I think the most important thing for a person in my position is to get involved in the school,” Gelenetis said.
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate Peanut Butter
Favorite Song(s): “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers. “Mellow Mood” by Slightly Stoopid. “Mirror” by Pepper.
Who would win a fight, Batman or Superman? Batman
Nolis Arkoulakis, Latin teacherBorn and raised in New Jersey, Nolis Arkoulakis now works as a Latin teacher at Princeton High School. After graduating from Princeton University, he went to medical school and worked as a doctor for 20 years. Arkoulakis made many trips to Greece as a child to learn more about his heritage, culture, and languages of the region. This contributed to his interest in teaching Latin.
Arkoulakis believes that it is important to not only teach students how to speak, read, and write a foreign language, but to also help them understand the culture behind that language.
“While it’s called Latin class, it’s really a class about ancient civilization and culture … It’s really learning about the history and mythology of Greece and Rome, and lots of other cultural topics along the way, like ancient Pompeii and how a Roman house was designed,” Arkoulakis said.
“I like how Dr. A explains things thoroughly and really goes into details,” said Anna Lee ’19. “His teaching style is a bit similar to Ms. Lewis’s style, since he was in Ms. Lewis’s class [as a student teacher] while she taught, and this is what makes it easy to adjust to him.”
Outside of the classroom, Arkoulakis spends a lot of time going to sporting activities and extracurricular activities with his kids, ages 11 and 13. The chance to have breakfast with President Gerald Ford was one of his most interesting life experiences.
Arkoulakis believes love for the subject taught, lots of patience, and love for kids are the most important characteristics for a teacher in his position.
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate
Favorite Song: “Sandy” by Bruce Springsteen
Who would win a fight, Batman or Superman? I don’t think that they should be fighting. It’s just wrong, so I would tell them to stop.
Tina O’Connell, Guidance counselorTina O’Connell is the newest guidance counselor at Princeton High School. O’Connell was born and raised as an only child in a small town in central Pennsylvania and worked at a high school there before starting at PHS. She loves hiking and cooking.
After graduating from Temple University, O’Connell worked as a mental health therapist for adults for five years before becoming a guidance counselor at Carlisle High School in Pennsylvania for eight years.
“I really like coming to school and working with younger students because … when you work with the younger generation you make more of an impact. I think that this is definitely my calling—this is my fit,” O’Connell said.
O’Connell understands that being a new guidance counselor is not easy, and she has to establish a personal connection with each student.
“I think the biggest thing is just getting to know students at first, not just focusing on grades, attendance … just getting to talk about what you are interested in and sharing some things about yourself. We’ll kind of start there to build that relationship, so that you can focus on those other things later,” O’Connell said.
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Favorite Song: “You are my Sunshine” by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell
Who would win a fight, Batman or Superman? Superman