Meet the Physical Education Department

Mr.+Collins+coaches+Girls%E2%80%99+Varsity+Golf+in+the+Fall+and+Junior+Varsity+Boys%E2%80%99+Basketball+in+the+Winter.

Anna Buhler

Mr. Collins coaches Girls’ Varsity Golf in the Fall and Junior Varsity Boys’ Basketball in the Winter.

While most students see physical education as an escape from academic class, members of the Physical Education department aim to educate students on important subjects — health and fitness. At Bronx Science, all of the Physical Education teachers are incredibly dedicated to this goal.

Ms. Dietrich

Ms. Dietrich has been athletic for as long as she can remember, learning to ski at the age of three. As a child, she was also involved in gymnastics and swimming. Ms. Dietrich discovered her love for teaching as a student in high school and, originally raised in Germany, she studied Physical Education and German in university.

In New York, Ms. Dietrich began her career as a teacher at DeWitt Clinton High School before coming to Bronx Science. While Ms. Dietrich loves teaching at Bronx Science, she finds it challenging to motivate students who have a hard time in her class. “I have to figure out what I can do to help them succeed,” said Ms. Dietrich. After thirteen years at our school, Ms. Dietrich believes that “there’s no better place to teach.” She loves the diversity of sports units at our school. “I have the opportunity to teach subjects that I like and to make a difference in students’ lives (at least I hope) in my yoga classes,” said Ms. Dietrich. Passionate about sports and teaching, Ms. Dietrich strives to make a positive impact in her students’ lives.

Ms. Konstantakakos

Ms. Konstantakakos was brought up practicing everything from tae-kwon-do to gymnastics to figure skating. In high school, she realized she wanted to teach Physical Education.

Today, Ms. Konstantakakos has been a teacher for thirteen years and has spent six teaching at Bronx Science. She believes that the Physical Education department at our school “works harder than any other Physical Education department in New York City to make the program as versatile as possible for the entire student body.” Ms. Konstantakakos finds that Bronx Science students “NEED physical activity to help with the daily stresses of their rigorous academic course work.” She also wishes more students would take the class seriously. “I always tell my students that we have been given this one body to take care of, and that we should learn to treat it right while we are young,” said Ms. Konstantakakos.

In addition to teaching Physical Education, Ms. Konstantakakos coaches Girls’ Varsity Gymnastics and Girls’ Varsity Fencing. Coaching is important to Ms. Konstantakakos because she gets to build close relationships with the athletes. 

Ms. Konstantakakos’ favorite hobby outside of school is running. “I train for multiple races throughout the year, raising money for a charity dear to my heart,” she said. She is currently training for her second half marathon in support of Spinal Cord Injuries & the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. She started her journey running for this charity over three years ago when her partner became a paraplegic. “Ever since then, I started running to raise awareness and money towards spinal cord injury research in the hopes of someday finding a cure,” said Ms. Konstantakakos.

Mr. McGrath

As a veteran, Mr. McGrath learned the importance of Physical Education in his time in the military. For him, the benefits of Physical Education on stress management and general health are so important. “Military personnel often use physical exercise as a refuge from the incredibly stressful situations they are in,” said Mr. McGrath. “Many of the health crises we face in the United States are caused by lifestyle choices,” he said. 

For Mr. McGrath, fitness is more of a lifestyle than an occupation. “I try to exercise daily with a combination of weight training, yoga, hiking, swimming and running,” said Mr. McGrath. Fitness is also an important part of his family as his three sons “play a multitude of sports — ice hockey, baseball, lacrosse, wrestling, football,” and his wife is also a Physical Education teacher. Looking back to his youth, Mr. McGrath fondly remembers meeting friends at the park every day and playing competitive sports just for fun. “I feel sorry for the generations that don’t get to have those experiences,” said Mr. McGrath.

Mr. McGrath has been teaching at Bronx Science for eleven years and he loves that he gets to provide students with a wide variety of activities at our school. He hopes to encourage all of his students to find a healthy activity that brings them happiness and joy.

Ms. Sisilli

Ms. Sisilli has loved sports her entire life and has played basketball and softball since she was eight years old. However, it wasn’t until she developed a close relationship with her own high school Physical Education teacher that Ms. Sisilli realized she wanted to become a teacher herself. Outside of school, Ms. Sisilli loves spending time with her family and friends, going to spin classes and hikes, and making time for self-care.

Ms. Sisilli has been teaching Physical Education for thirteen years now, and has been at Bronx Science for six. “My favorite thing about my job is sharing the joy I have about physical activity with others and being able to do something I love every day,” said Ms. Sisilli. She claims that her students keep her young and give her purpose, but that it can be a challenge to get them  to understand the importance of lifelong activity. “Academics are important, of course, but so is your mental and physical health,” she said.

Along with teaching, Ms. Sisilli coaches Girls’ Varsity Table Tennis and Girls’ Varsity Handball. She finds that being part of a team teaches teenagers so many life lessons that can be hard to teach inside a classroom setting. It also gives her the chance to get to know her students on a closer level and focus on one activity instead of several at once. One of Ms. Sisilli’s biggest takeaways from teaching is that “you cannot make a difference in every student’s life even if you want to. However, even if you can positively affect just one, it is all worth it.”

Other Teachers

Besides those featured above, members of the Physical Education department include Mr. Collins, Mr. Dahlem, Mr. Fallon, Ms. Loukissas, Mr. O’Hara, Mr. Mei, and Mr. Skilins.

“My favorite thing about my job is sharing the joy I have about physical activity with others,” said Ms. Sisilli.

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