Prabhu, Here’s to You!

Biology teacher Marianne Prabhu was recently appointed as the Interim Acting Assistant Principal for Teacher Support & Development and Data Systems Lead. So who is she?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

After over a year of remote instruction that exposed a number of mental health and learning issues within the school community, the Stuyvesant administration has created a position to address our modern learning environment. On Monday, April 26, Principal Seung Yu appointed biology teacher Marianne Prabhu as Interim Acting Assistant Principal (IAAP) for Teacher Support & Development and Data Systems Lead. Yu outlined the position in his announcement of it: “This role will focus on the support and development of teachers, particularly in the areas of instruction, pedagogy, and student performance data use [and will] lead and facilitate our efforts in preparation for our instructional approach for the next school year.”

Yet even in the midst of such an unprecedented learning environment, it seems Prabhu is prepared to weather the storm. Prabhu’s past students, who have experienced her kindness in biology, feel that she is perfectly suited for her new position. “Ms. Prabhu creates such a welcoming environment in her class and is the perfect teacher for helping freshmen transition in high school, especially during remote learning,” junior Samira Esha, a former freshman biology student of Prahbu, said.

Sophomore Ameer Alnasser is another one of Prabhu’s past students. He explained his experience: “Throughout my moderately short time with her as my teacher, I can safely say I enjoyed every minute of it [...] She is so kind and considerate and handed us candy on a frequent basis. For an introduction into Stuyvesant, she is for sure one of the better teachers to get,” he wrote in an e-mail interview.

The feeling is mutual—Prabhu loves teaching just as much as her students love her. “I’ve been a teacher since 2007 and every year at Stuyvesant has reminded me why I love working with young people,” she explained in an e-mail interview. Outside of the classroom, Prabhu coaches the boys’ swim team, an activity she finds meaningful and rewarding. “It reminds me how hard our students work at everything they do and that teenagers need to laugh, build relationships, and find a support system,” she explained. “School is much more than an academic program.”

The position itself, IAAP, directly aligns with Prabhu’s experience. As part of the Stuyvesant administration, Prabhu has worked closely with her fellow teachers, organizing professional development sessions and helping over 30 of her colleagues complete probation. Yu elaborated on Prabhu’s extensive experience in his announcement as well, stating, “[Prabhu] has served as a Peer Collaborative Teacher leader for the past five years at Stuyvesant and has been facilitating instructional sessions with the department chairs in our efforts to deliver consistent and coherent instruction.”

In Prabhu’s own words, “I’ve been providing support to colleagues for many years so I have a good foundation and sense of some of the needs in our school community.”

For Prabhu, the appeal of the new position lies in its impact. “Teachers, students, and families have been through a difficult year,” she said. “We all need support more than ever as we take what we have learned from the pandemic and rethink how we approach teaching and learning for the future.” To this end, Prabhu has already begun reaching out to teachers, students, and parents in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of what is and isn’t working in the remote setting. For her, knowledge informs action. “My immediate goal is to listen and learn as much as possible. I think I need to better understand the perspective and lens of an administrator before determining what needs to change,” she said.

The beginning of the next school year in September and the return to the Stuyvesant building are also on Prabhu’s mind. She hopes to ease the transition to in-person instruction, especially since next year’s freshman and sophomore classes have yet to experience Stuyvesant in-person. “Returning back to the physical building will be difficult for many, and I want to make sure I am there to help teachers, students, and families feel as comfortable as possible as we transition,” she explained.

While Prabhu’s position is not guaranteed—the IAAP position was formally posted on May 3 so all interested candidates can apply—it seems she is adjusting to the job and actively working to improve the learning experience for all Stuyvesant students. So here’s to you, Prabhu!