Teachers of the Month: Mr. and Mrs. Goodman

Mr. and Mrs. Goodman's wedding photo

Mr. and Mrs. Goodman’s wedding photo

Mrs. Goodman

As a math teacher at Pascack Hills, Mrs. Goodman proudly confirmed, “I’m living the dream.” Mrs. Goodman, who graduated from our rival, Pascack Valley High School, never let that discourage her from taking a teaching position at Hills.

Throughout high school, Mrs. Goodman loved and excelled in Honors math, AP Biology and AP Chemistry. She described herself as “athletic, friendly, and smart.” As an involved student, she participated in student government and National Honors Society, while playing volleyball, basketball, and softball. Mrs. Goodman eventually devoted most of her time to club volleyball. She often felt as if she missed part of junior and senior years because she was away at tournaments every weekend.

At Pascack Valley, Mrs. Goodman was a leader. She, along with student government, organized a “walk-out” in which the entire school left their classes for a day. This was orchestrated because the school budget didn’t pass and many teachers were going to be fired. Mrs. Goodman described the scene with excitement as she said, “we had bullhorns on the front lawn…people held up signs, [and] people drove by and honked.”

Mrs. Goodman wants to make sure everyone in high school today has a good balance of working hard, enjoying sporting events, and hanging out with friends. As a word of advice to students today, Mrs. Goodman simply said, “Enjoy the experience.”

Mr. and Mrs. Goodman actually both attended Pascack Valley, but they are 5 years apart, so they never met in high school. Ironically, one of Mr. Goodman’s ex girlfriends was in high school with and played on the same basketball team as Mrs. Goodman. When asked if she would have dated Mr. Goodman if they had been in high school at the same time, she confidently said,  “Of course! How could he have met me then and not wanted to date me?” Mrs. Goodman would describe Mr. Goodman in high school as being athletic, smart, and funny. Mrs. Goodman described the unique relationship she has with her husband, explaining that the highlight of working with him is that she gets to see him during day. The only downside, according to Mrs. Goodman, is that she often forgets to exchange keys and ends up driving the wrong car, which appears to only be a slight inconvenience.

Mr. and Mrs. Goodman as children
Mr. and Mrs. Goodman as children

Mr. Goodman

Mr. Goodman knew he wanted to be a history teacher when he was in sixth grade. Even though he may have been tall enough to fit the part then, he still went to high school just like us.

As a Pascack Valley High School student, Mr. Goodman would not label himself as anything. “I would not fit into any categories,” he said, “I was ignored equally by all social groups when I was in high school.” Mr. Goodman dubbed himself as kind of good, but not really good at anything, almost athletic, and not dumb, but not a genius. When asked how his peers would label him, he said, “surprisingly, as the tall skinny kid.”

In the classroom, Mr. Goodman enjoyed history the most. “It was not my best subject,” he added, “but it was my favorite subject.” He accredits some of his love for history to the great history teachers he had in high school, one of whom was Mr. Bialkin, who is now the advisor of the theater department at Hills. The model behavioral student, who didn’t really get in trouble in high school, also began as a model academic student, beginning in all honors. However Mr. Goodman explained that, “Slowly but surely I was tapped on the shoulder and told I needed to go to a different class.”

Out of the classroom, Mr. Goodman participated in student government and played basketball and soccer for the Indians. He broke a bone each year of high school, one of which being his hip, which he broke on the Pascack Hills field during a soccer match between the rival schools. When speaking about his injury, Mr. Goodman said, “That’s nice when you’re a fourteen-year-old boy with the same injury as your eighty year old grandmother.” Mr. Goodman also explained that “the doctors said I was growing too fast,” which explained the injury, where the muscle in his leg pulled a chunk of his hipbone away. Mr. Goodman did suggest that a diagram of the injury would be nice, but one was unable to be found.

Mr. Goodman believes that there is a lot more pressure on high school students today than there was when he was in high school. And his advice to students today? “Study for your history tests.”

Most people know Mr. and Mrs. Goodman as the married teachers at Hills. However, many do not know the story behind their marriage. “My wife slowly stalked me,” Mr. Goodman said, explaining that they not only went to the same middle school, high school and college, but also student taught in the same town. However since they are five years apart in age, they never crossed paths until teaching at Hills. The two met at the Iron Horse in Westwood the summer before Mrs. Goodman began teaching. When asked what the best and worst things about working together, Mr. Goodman said, “everything’s the best, nothing’s the worst.” Mr. Goodman would label his wife in high school as very smart and very athletic. However, when asked if they would have dated in high school, he explained that, “Based on statistics, the number of girls who were in my high school and the number of girls who dated me, I’m going to say that the odds are very small that she would have dated me in high school.” Thus, he is glad that they are five years apart in age; otherwise, she may have never become Mrs. Goodman.