New STEM teacher prioritizes passion


photo by Daphne Kaplan

Meyer introduces a new project for middle school students who are taking coding this semester; the project involves following a list of procedures that are projected on the board.

Daphne Kaplan, Reporter

New STEM and computer science teacher Rustom Meyer began his time at CESJDS on Jan. 23, the start of second semester, with new schedules, hallways and students’ faces to memorize. Meyer is no stranger to adjustment.

“I kind of grew up all around the country, I’ve moved around a lot. I was born in South Carolina, I’ve also lived in Ohio, Arizona, I’ve lived in Maryland, Vermont and New York,” Meyer said.

The position opened up after former STEM and computer science teacher Andy Petusky, left his tenure at CESJDS, when his wife received a new job in Texas.  After hearing about the benefits of JDS from some of his friends and colleagues, Meyer applied for the job.

Meyer holds a degree in environmental engineering and is most passionate about the field. Throughout his life, he has wanted to adapt techniques to mitigate the impact of human existence on earth by “picking things up our ancestors left for us,” Meyer said.

Saving the environment is only one of Meyer’s many interests. With only 24 hours in the day and seven days a week, he often finds it a challenge to prioritize his many hobbies and focus only on what is most important to him.

Meyer moved to the Greater Washington area to pursue an environmental consulting job. Since he moved, he has been involved with multiple companies and industries in the area, including Makerspace, a facility within TechShop to use for fabrication equipment.

Meyer’s time teaching at TechShop grew his passion for teaching. He has taught software classes and various after-school programs.

Despite his passion for environmental engineering, Meyer ultimately quit his initial job in the Washington area job when he discovered his enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and teaching and decided to pursue them full-time.

With two “mildly” successful small businesses, Meyer said he is proud of his accomplishments as a small entrepreneur.  Even though he cares about both small businesses, he realized that it was not realistic for him to go further with the businesses and he instead turned to focus more on his teaching career.

High School Principal and Associate Head of School Dr. Marc Lindner believes Meyer is a good fit for the job due to his impressive background, his comprehension of the material and his assistance around the classroom when needed.

“He has a lot of experience with engineering, a lot of experience with STEM in the sense of working with students and having them explore problems,” Lindner said. “This learning involves a lot of hands-on work, which is one of the key elements of STEM. I think that his educational background in general as a teacher he will bring a lot of knowledge to his classes and students.”

Freshman Talia Kraner, who is taking Python I Advanced agrees with Lindner as she likes Meyer as a teacher for his drive and passion for computer science.  He cares about students’ success, given that computer science can be difficult,” according to Kraner.

“He wants us to succeed and to have a good time, so there are assignments we have to do, but he also told us that we can try other things,” Kraner said. “If we are excited to do something and not so excited to do something else, he will make changes so that we are excited for what we are doing and happy to be coding.”

With a job that comes in many shapes and forms, teaching has given Meyer the opportunity to never be bored at work: there are always different things he can do to help students succeed and for teaching lessons.

“I think that my favorite part [of teaching] is when a student gets something. You can kind of see it in their face, so they will go from understanding to the pieces of the problem to seeing the whole problem, even if there are a few pieces missing,” Meyer said. “You can just watch the realization on somebody’s face when that happens; it is pretty cool.”