Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Cahenzli


I had the pleasure of sitting down to interview Ms. Cahenzli, the current AP World History teacher here at Rhinebeck High School who has a liking for medieval history and the color green. From looking out at a soccer field, to looking out at a castle, Ms. Cahenzli’s future adventures will take her around the world.

Ms. Cahenzli grew up locally in Hyde Park and attended Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School. Ms. Cahenzli was part of the drama club at FDR and was very invested in the plays the theater department put on. She was also an active part of the student government there, serving as class president for her freshman year. 

Her favorite subject in both high school and college was history which is very fitting for her current role here as a history teacher filling in for Mrs. DeStrange. Ms. Cahenzli went to SUNY Oneonta to pursue a college degree originally in political science but later changed to a major in education with social studies. 

She went on to describe her journey in finding the right career path, “Originally, I think in high school I really wanted to be a teacher but my parents dissuaded me from it   . . . But after my freshman year at Oneonta I realized that I really wanted to be a teacher. It was something that I kept coming back to and so I switched my major. Once I was in the program I really loved it and it solidified my decision to become a teacher.” 

In her free time, Ms. Cahenzli enjoys reading, watching historic documentaries, and listening to historic podcasts. She also continues to enjoy theater and goes to Broadway shows and local college plays. She leaned more towards theater in her youth rather than sports, but she did play both lacrosse and basketball in her high school years. 

This year is Ms. Cahenzli’s first year as a full teacher. She talked to me about the adjustment, “It’s been an interesting adjustment going from student teaching where you have someone who is constantly coaching you and there as a resource to having your own classroom where you get to dictate what the students are learning . . .

. . . So setting my own standards in my classroom has been an adjustment and also just getting used to the schedule as well because it was so different last year when I was a student teacher.” Ms. Cahenzli was a student teacher in Mr. Frischknect’s 7th-grade history classroom last year which she enjoyed. 

The plan right now is for Mrs. Destrange to come back in early to mid November to resume her class after her maternity leave. Ms. Cahenzli said that after November she plans to stay within the district for a little while. However, in July or August Ms. Cahenzli has a very exciting plan to travel to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland to get her masters degree in Medieval History. Ms. Cahenzli explains the reasoning behind going to Scotland for graduate school, “I wanted to get my masters in Medieval History and Scotland is an epicenter for Medieval History . . . you are kind of living in it as you’re learning about it which is nice. Edinburgh is also one of the top universities in the world, so it is a great school to attend and I always wanted to study abroad in my undergrad but I wasn’t able to because of covid.” Ms. Cahenzli looks forward to this opportunity as a chance for her to become a more global thinker which she says will help her to teach in her future classrooms.

We wish Ms. Cahenzli lots of success in her future endeavors and we are very glad that she is here with us at Rhinebeck this year.