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Welcoming Tough Questions: Teacher Spotlight with Summer Silbart

April 25, 2024


Rise Kohyang High School was recently awarded Gold and Silver Distinction on the AP (Advanced Placement) School Honor Roll for reflecting a commitment to increasing college-going culture, providing opportunities for students to earn college credit, and maximizing college readiness.

We sat down with one of Rise Kohyang High School’s incredible AP teachers, Summer Silbart, and learned more about why she became a teacher instead of a neurosurgeon, why her students’ questions leave her thinking far after class ends, and why being an educator is so much more than just an opportunity to help students grow.

How long have you been teaching, and what grades or subjects do you teach?

This is my sixth year teaching and I currently teach AP Biology, Environmental Science, AP Environmental Science, and AP Psychology at Rise Kohyang High School.


What inspired you to become a teacher?

I grew up knowing I wanted to be a neurosurgeon because my mom and dad both worked in medicine. I never considered anything else. Then I went to Tulane and was in a program where I would fast-track through medical school and realized that it was not something I was passionate about.

Instead, I found a program where I got to teach sex education and female empowerment to local middle schoolers in New Orleans and realized that teaching was something that I loved.

Now I never question being a teacher because each day brings something new and I love being challenged and constantly humbled by my students.


Why do you love your subject area?

My AP Psychology students have been working on digesting the Pyramid of Hate and creating solutions from our psychology knowledge to deconstruct the pyramid and I've loved the questions that leave me thinking far after class has ended, like: “How do we stop a genocide?” or “How could conformity be used to disrupt acts of bias?”

What do you love most about being a teacher?

I love all the small moments that come from teaching. Helping students grow into better people and having them encourage my growth and keeping me accountable too is so powerful.