Faculty in Focus: 5 Things We Learned about New Faculty Member Alana Asch

Our Faculty in Focus series continues with Alana Asch, the newest Health Educator in the Physical Education and Health Department at Princeton Day School. 

What motivated you to become a teacher?

“The Athletic Trainer at my previous job was going on maternity leave and was teaching a couple sections of Middle School heath and wellness. We had talked about how I could potentially cover those sections while she was out, but without asking me, she told the administration that I would cover the classes! Before I transitioned to the classroom, I really misunderstood Middle Schoolers. Once I started teaching, I would be totally blown away by some of the things they would say. Middle Schoolers are so much more aware and so much more introspective than we realize. I love coaching, so I continued to do that, but I found myself wanting to be in the classroom more and more.” 

You recently sent out an email to the PDS faculty and staff about the importance of self-care. How does that message make its way into your classroom?

“Creating connections is such an important part of understanding your health. When I was younger and I was a four-year varsity athlete, I didn’t know how to exercise. It wasn’t until I learned about how much is connected that I became a healthier person and realized that students need to learn those things, too.” 

Alana Asch leading her students through a self-care exercise

What are some things you’re really looking forward to this year?

“I am most excited about making those connections for students. We might be learning about seven different topics, but they’re all related. To be more specific, I was recently asked to help with the Da Vinci Middle School program, and I’m not sure if this is set in stone, but I might do an Exercise Science curriculum for the Middle School students. One of the things I learned when I first started teaching is that whenever we would talk about nutrition in the classroom, or even when I was coaching juniors and seniors on the field, students were always surprised to learn about the science behind what we put into our bodies and how it affects us.” 

The Middle School Da Vinci Program is a great example of what makes Princeton Day School so unique! What are some other discoveries about the School that you’ve made as a new faculty member?

“I grew up going to public school, so to be working at PDS really shows me why so many students want to attend private school. The community that is created here is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I know that I’m pretty short, so in the hallways, I really blend in with a lot of the students, but the faculty always see me and call me by my name to ask me about how I’m adjusting. Everyone here is so welcoming.” 

Is there anything that you really want people to know about you?

“Yes! I’ll be moving into an on-campus faculty/staff apartment in November and my dog Kya is coming with me. She’s a rescue and I’m so excited to bring that really important part of my life into this new part of my life.” 

Alana Asch and her dog, Kya

Welcome to PDS, Alana! 

Don't forget to check out our previous installments of the Faculty in Focus series with Gwen Shockey '06 and Paul Epply-Schmidt!

More News