Humans of RV Special: a glimpse into RV’s dream team, the Pliskins

A story of love, laughter…and high school theater

Mkenna Wimberly, Student Life Writer

The Humans of RV project is a weekly column based off of Brandon Stanton’s seminal “Humans of New York” project, which seeks to “catalogue the city’s inhabitants” through photography and brief interviews. RV seeks to expand on this project with our own “cataloguing” of RV students and an examination into all the unique perspectives here at school. 

Note: this transcript has been edited and condensed for publication purposes.

As Valentine’s Day rapidly approaches, many of us find ourselves alone, eating chocolate and crying as we watch “10 Things I Hate About You” on a loop. The last thing we want to read or hear about is the world’s most loving couple, the epitome of a perfect match. However, the following interview with RV’s Dream Team, the Pliskins (Ms. Maira, who will be changing her name soon, and Mr. Pliskin), will quickly change your mind.

The Holly Spirit: How did you two meet?

Mr. Pliskin: We had known each other prior, well, I knew of Ms. Maira, this English teacher who was around my age. At the time, I was going through choreographers year after year, but I couldn’t find the right fit for the All-School Musical. I sent out an email through the staff, and she came to me wanting to do it. I was doubtful at first, wondering if she, being the cheerleading coach, had the right qualifications. She explained to me her previous experience, having done the school play at her last school, and we decided to give it a try. To my surprise, it was the smoothest musical we had ever done. It was then when we realized we made an excellent team, specifically, a productive and positive team. Sometime between that musical and the next, we went on our first date.

HS: What were your first impressions of each other?

Ms. Maira: I had hall duty with him my first year at RV, and every year he has a different fashion trend he’s trying to “pull off.” At the time, he was really into Hawaiian shirts. He had a Hawaiian shirt on, tucked into his work pants, sometimes suspenders, and a rat tail. He was always reading a book; he would walk around carrying a book and reading during hall duty. I remember thinking, “he is a total weirdo,” and that was it.

Mr. Pliskin: I probably thought she was high maintenance, very well put together, but not very fun. My least successful high school course was English, so I gave a stigma of distaste to anyone who was an English teacher, and I didn’t really think much of it.

HS: Do you find it beneficial to work in the same environment at RV and/or remotely?

Ms. Maira: Yes! We love working together because we feel as though we know what the other person is going through. If I have an awful day, he knows whatever it may be that caused stress in my day and can easily relate to what I’m telling him. It’s so helpful and nice to be on the same schedule as well. We love to travel, and because we work together, we have the exact times and summers off together.

Mr. Pliskin: I don’t know exactly what it is that works for us, but I can understand why some people don’t like to work together, even if they are a great duo. I think that both of our personality types, being talkers and communicators, provide a common ground. We’re both extremely passionate and dedicated to what we do and can talk about it all day.

Ms. Maira: It also helps us to be better professionals. When he has something going on in C120, I am often inspired to take some of his ideas to my smaller classroom. We motivate each other to be better teachers, and it’s truly how we work.

HS: How has COVID-19 impacted your relationship?

Mr. Pliskin: Well… we got married during the pandemic in December. We had a very small wedding, and for a long time, we were upset and disappointed that we wouldn’t have what most couples were able to have. But, we were able to see how beautiful a small wedding could be. Educationally, now we are able to see what each of us does in our classrooms compared to when we were at RV. I think it’s essential to show a strong, loving, positive team-work based structure, and it can only produce positive things.