During this pandemic, we have relied on teachers to continue fostering education and learning in these unprecedented times. Rutgers gymnastics is thankful for all the alumnae of our program who have careers in education and have been making a difference now more than ever.

Seven former Scarlet Knights – Claire Jones, Jessica Kerley-Tanski, Emma-Rose Melde, Katie Stebick, Brooke Storms, Kristen Zdanowicz, Jenna Zito – share where they are now, as well as tips to teachers and students continue to adjust to the new world of online learning.
Claire Jones
Special Education Teacher at Mary Bramlett Elementary School in Gaffney, SC

Years “On the Banks”: 2013-17

Degrees from Rutgers: B.A. in Psychology with minor in Education

Online learning tips to teachers: Be nurturing, patient and kind! You don’t know what these kids are going through at home. Its important to build online relationships that will encourage and support student learning. Craft lesson that will engage students around their curiosity, interests and hobbies. Have fun!

Personal: Jones lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her dog, Crew. I will be starting my masters in school psychology this year.

Jessica Kerley-Tanski
Adjunct Professor of Communication and LIM College in NYC

Years “On the Banks”: 2008-10

Degrees: B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University/ M.A. in Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Syracuse University

Online learning tips to teachers: It is a bit different at the college level as many of my students have been using technology in their schooling prior to the pandemic. However, one of the biggest changes was the college switched to a new virtual learning platform this summer so not only are my students having to navigate online classes/hybrid learning and the lack of socialization/classroom dynamic, but they must do so on a new platform. I find being overly descriptive and giving as many assignments as early as possible allows them to navigate the features and plan ahead in order to give the best results when they create their work.

Personal: Kerley-Tanski resides with her husband, Richard, in South Orange, New Jersey, and they are currently expecting their first child.
.Emma-Rose (Trentacosti) Melde
Middle School Social Studies Teacher and Wood Ridge JR/SR High School in Wood Ridge, NJ

Years “On the Banks”: 2009-13

Degrees from Rutgers: B.S. in American Studies/M.A. in Education (elementary with middle school social studies)

Online Learning Tips to teachers: My tips for a successful remote learning experience is to be very patient and to communicate clearly and consistently with students, families, and school staff. Also, although there are many challenges that come with remote learning, there are also many opportunities for engaging students with content in new and creative ways!

Personal: Melde and her husband, who is a Rutgers Wrestling alum, currently live in Wood Ridge, New Jersey, with their dog, Roxy.
Katie Stebick
First Grade teacher at Union City Area School District in Erie County, PA

Years “On the Banks”: 2012-16

Degrees from Rutgers: B.A. in Psychology/Masters in Early Childhood Education

Online learning tips: Start each day with a positive attitude! Make sure you are organized and ready for the day and always remember to ask your teacher if you are confused or not understanding, we are there to help you!

Personal: Stebick lives in her hometown of Waterford, Pennsylvania, with her four year old golden retriever, Rio.
.Brooke Storms
Homemaker & Preschool Homeschool Teacher

Years “On the Banks”: 2007-11

Degrees from Rutgers: B.S. in Psychology, M.Ed. Elementary & Special Education with Specialization in Urban Ed

Online learning tips to teachers and students: Change the scenery; work outside as often as possible and take lots of movement breaks.

Personal: Storms and husband, Scott, are parents to Theo (3) and Wren (10 months) residing in Woolwich Township.
Kristen Zdanowicz
Mathematics High School Teacher at Manasquan High School in Manasquan, NJ

Years “On the Banks”: 1990-94

Degrees from Rutgers: B.A. in Mathematics

Online learning tips for teachers: My tip for teachers is to do one task at a time. I know what it is like to be overwhelmed with all the different technologies that are available. Pick one or a few that you know/understand and use it to the best of your ability.

As for students, my tip is to be present. You can get sidetracked with social media and video games, and miss an entire lesson. Focus on your class at that moment so you will not fall behind.

Personal: Zdanowicz is the head gymnastics coach at Shore Regional High School and the head spring track coach at Manasquan High School.

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