First-year teacher to teach new STEM courses


Rachel Cohen

Danielle deQuintal is beginning her teaching career at Pascack Valley. DeQuintal said she became interested in STEM subjects since they involve hands-on learning and allow students to be creative.

Ilmie Xhaferi, Staff Editor

Throughout her life, Danielle deQuintal has always been passionate about science and technology, and she knew she wanted to become a teacher. Now a recent graduate of The College of New Jersey, deQuintal will begin her teaching career at Pascack Valley through teaching new courses, including architecture, robotics, game design, and a modified course, Introduction to Innovation and Design.

“I had such great teachers as role models,” deQuintal said. “I would say is my biggest pull as to why I became a teacher. Also, I liked being in school when I was a kid. I wasn’t someone who was adverse to it, so I found I could have a career in it.”

DeQuintal became interested in STEM subjects since they involve hands-on learning such as working together to create solutions to a problem. She also enjoys how the new technology education courses will allow students to be creative and “think outside the box.”

“There is a level of creativity for students to go about the [STEM] projects in his or her way, and to give it their own individual flare,” deQuintal said. “I like how [STEM] isn’t really standardized and it can be brought to a lot of different approaches.”

Contributed by Danielle deQuintal
Elementary school students draw designs in Danielle deQuintal’s class at a local STEM summer camp.

DeQuintal said Introduction to Innovation and Design will touch on engineering and graphics, while Architecture will incorporate the design process to creating residential structures. Her other classes, Robotics and Game Design, will explore the fields of robotics and control systems through the use of various computer programs. All of these PV courses will be full year electives and focus on problem solving. 

“In the department of tech ed, I would say that all the classes are based on problem solving and innovation,” deQuintal said.

DeQuintal will be working alongside PV and Pascack Hills faculty members including Aarti Mallya, Michael Sherman, Adam Ostrowski, Maureen Timpone, and her mentor Jim Kennedy, to help STEM programs grow. These faculty members surveyed 400 to 500 PV students to see if they were interested in taking courses similar to the new classes this year before the end of the summer.

“A lot of students were excited by the class titles which helped us to create the path that we’re on,” Kennedy said. “We also spoke with the guidance counselors about their ideas for what we’re trying to implement. The survey came back pretty favorable and we talked to administrators both at the building level and central office. Everybody is excited.”

After writing the curriculum for the new electives, deQuintal said she is ready to immerse herself in the PV community looks forward to bringing creative and exciting teaching approaches to her students.

“If there is something that comes up when maybe I don’t have the experience with, I’m really willing to learn it with them and approach it like we’re both students in that aspect,” deQuintal said. “I want my students to understand that I’m looking to learn as much as they are, and I’m hoping to take away a lot from the classes and what they will bring.”

Contributed by Danielle deQuintal
A scale model of a tiny house, similar to work that will be completed by Pascack Valley students in the architecture class.