Hannah Bolandian ’19
Imagine giving a speech in front of a classroom full of students. Then, add ten more people, a hundred more, a thousand. For many, the thought of this sends chills down their spines. However, in English teacher Holly Sulzycki’s case, it excites her. Recently, Sulzycki was nominated and selected for the master class of speechwriting with President Obama’s former speech writer, Stephen Krupin.
The speechwriting class is held by The Academy of Teachers. “The Academy of Teachers is a New York institution that really works to foster the respect for educators and give them professional development opportunities,” Sulzycki said.
The class will be held at The Cooper Union on Feb. 13. Many nominations for teachers in the New York area were submitted, but only 18 were selected to attend the class.
For years, Sulzycki worked in theater because of her passion for performance. Soon after, she went on to study English. In college, Sulzycki took speech and communication classes. “The idea of communication and effective communication, helping to think how we use language to communicate, has always been fascinating to me,” Sulzycki said. She now teaches Rhetoric and Persuasion and AP Literature classes at Staples.
The speechwriting class will teach Sulzycki skills and techniques to implement in her own classes. “I’m going to be sitting in a room with 17 other teaching professionals,” Sulzycki said. “Part of that day is dedicated to developing more curriculum and working on ideas to help students access this content. That’s what I’m really excited about.”
In her Rhetoric and Persuasion class, Sulzycki teaches the basics surrounding writing and performing speeches. “[Sulzycki] really personalizes her teaching to each student,” Georgia Wright ’19, student in the Rhetoric and Persuasion class, said. “[She] understands not just giving speeches but the mechanics behind a great speech.”
Sulzycki has been known by students to bring her all to class. She exhibits great interest in her students’ success and curriculum. “It’s evident that she’s passionate about the English language,” Rohan Goswami ’18 said. “I don’t think the nomination will even slightly alter the enthusiasm she brings to the classroom — there isn’t anywhere for it to go; it’s kind of maxed.”