RHS’s Talented Teachers

So many of our wonderful teachers at Ridgewood High School have very interesting hobbies and incredible accomplishments outside of the classroom. Here’s some information about three of our teachers and their hidden talents:

Mrs. Pinches is an English teacher, but most don’t know that she is also an avid marathon runner. Mrs. Pinches has run 52 marathons in her lifetime and has recently been running 5 each year. “I have always enjoyed running,” she said, “but [I] did not start distance running and marathoning until almost 17 years ago.” Since starting the activity, she quickly found a passion for it. “I finished my first one and immediately signed up for the next one and ran it two weeks later,” she says. Her longest run was a 50K, equating to 31 miles. 

One notable experience that she had during a run was at the Philly Marathon: “I was able to shake Meb’s (olympic silver-medalist) hand at the start of the Philly Marathon last year and this year he high-fived me at the halfway mark. That was pretty amazing!”

Ms. Pinches also runs to raise money and awareness for ataxia telangiectasia, a rare genetic disease affecting 1 in 40 to 100 thousand, including her best friend’s son. There is currently no cure, so marathoning is a way for Mrs. Pinches to raise money for research. “I’m hoping one day my friend’s son and I can run together!” she says. 

Mr. Cheplic is another English teacher with a hidden talent. He plays guitar and bass as well as singing for his band, The Bitter Chills. “You could categorize us as a sort of hybrid country-rock band,” he says. Mr. Cheplic and a friend of his, who is a math teacher at St. Joseph’s High School, formed the band in 2008. Their music can be found on Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, and most other music platforms, so check it out!

Mr. Cheplic started guitar and bass when he was 14 years old and it has allowed him to perform in a variety of ways outside of just his band. “I also play guitar and bass in high school musical pits. I’m doing ‘Mamma Mia!’ at IHA in April.” Furthermore, Mr. Cheplic plays bass in an indie rock band called Fairmont, and has a side project called Splendid Engine, whose first album should be released in March or April.

Lastly, our Grade Advisor and Assistant Principal, Mr. Pizzuto, plays the Pipe Organ. “I was working at my school/church helping out and watched the organ being assembled with thousands of pipes,” he says. “I was very interested and the person who designed it offered me lessons.”

Mr. Pizzuto now regularly plays at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Saddle Brook, which is the same church where he began receiving lessons and covering masses as a child. Mr. Pizzuto was appointed Music Director of the church in 1994 and still plays for 5 services every weekend. He has also played for RHS students on international trips to Switzerland and Germany and has worked with our school’s band, choir, and orchestra at West Side Presbyterian Church concerts.

If you’re walking down the halls one day, look up at the people around you – who knows what each and every person is capable of behind the scenes!  

Tess Cundiff
digital content editor 

Graphic: Sofia Lee

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