New Teachers and Counselors of MC: 2015 Edition

Sophia Giuliano '16, Writer

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The Roar interviewed the newest teachers and counselors of the MC community, asking them questions about who they are, what they enjoy most about being a teacher or a counselor, and even getting them to reveal something about themselves that no one at MC would know.

Sister Maria Frassati ~ English Teacher

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How long have you been teaching?

This is my 8th year teaching.  I taught for a year in Florida where I helped to found a school the first year it was open.  Then I taught for two years in Michigan and another year in Phoenix, Arizona.  After that, I was sent to The Catholic University of America; I taught a small class for English language learners, and finally, I  spent two years teaching English 101 to college freshmen.

What motivated you, or how did you decide to become a teacher?

My Dad was a high school science teacher, and I’ve wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember.  In addition to having had some great teachers in my life, I think it boils down to the fact that I love learning and I love people.  As a bonus, now that I am a Sister I also know that this is God’s will for me at present, which makes it even better!!

What, for you, is the best or most rewarding thing about being a teacher?

For me, the best part about being a teacher is getting students excited about what they are learning.  There is nothing like seeing the light bulb come on in someone when they finally “get it,” whatever “it” is.  That, “Aha!” in the face of truth is really a way of praising God, who is truth.  So sharing this ..  is decidedly a highlight.

What is one interesting thing about you that most students at MC wouldn’t know?

I once rode in a hot air balloon shaped like a giant tomato.  I also once got my habit stuck in an escalator in Sydney, Australia.  

Mr. Smyth ~ Counselor

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How long have you have been a counselor?

This is my 5th year of counseling. That said, it is my first official year as a college and guidance counselor at a traditional high school.

What motivated you, or how did you decide to become a counselor?

One of the main reasons I pursued counseling was from a lesson my dad taught me at a young age: the key to happiness is helping others. I also had some amazing school counselors throughout my education. I really appreciated how much of an impact they made on my life that I thought it would be a great career to pursue after getting my Bachelors.

What, for you, is the best or most rewarding thing about being a counselor?

It is pretty simple, for me, connecting with the students and hearing their story. Ultimately though, I learn from the students and that is the most rewarding part of my job.

What is one interesting thing about you that most students at Marin Catholic wouldn’t know?

I helped train NBA players and specifically John Wall before the 2010 NBA draft.

What is one thing on your bucket list that you’ve always wanted to do?

I have always wanted to visit every baseball park in the MLB.  I have made it to quite a few already but I think it would be a lot of fun to visit every single one.

Where is the coolest place you have ever been to, visited, or traveled too?

I grew up in Marin and thought I had seen all that Marin has to offer.  But I am willing to admit that this summer I went to Kirby Cove, had never heard of it before this summer, and camped.  It was amazing!  There are only 7 campsites and they book up a year in advance. So if you ever get the opportunity to go, do it!  

And also Manawaiopuna Falls, Hanapepe Valley, Kaua’i. It is where they filmed the opening scene for the original Jurassic Park.  Very special place!

Sister Rose ~ Chemistry Teacher

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How long have you have been teaching?

I’ve been teaching various subjects for about five years.

What motivated you, or how did you decide to become a teacher?

I became a teacher because I wanted to pass on the treasures of knowledge that I had been given to the next generation of young people.

What, for you, is the best or most rewarding thing about being a teacher?

The most rewarding thing about being a teacher is watching a student be filled with awe about the amazing phenomenon in the world around them.

What is one interesting about you that most students at Marin Catholic wouldn’t know?

I love to read books, especially good mystery stories.

Mrs. Wood ~ Counselor

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How long have you have been a counselor?

I have been a counselor since 2002, nine of these years were at the high school level, and the rest were at the middle school/junior high level. I worked at San Marin High school for six years, Novato high for one, and Tam High school for two.

What motivated you, or how did you decide to become a counselor?

Before becoming a counselor, I first became a teacher. I earned my “multiple subjects teaching credential” and was planning to be a science teacher and focus on environmental education. I noticed that students were coming to see me at break, lunch and after school;  I was enjoying getting to know them and helping them through difficult life situations they were experiencing. I realized that I wanted to work with students on a more individual basis than I realistically could as a teacher; so I continued in school for my masters degree in Counseling.

What, for you, is the best or most rewarding thing about being a counselor?

To me, graduation day is one of the most rewarding parts of my job, and I don’t think I have ever made it through a graduation ceremony with my seniors without crying. It is such an accomplishment and an enormous milestone between childhood and adulthood. The significance of this event is very real and moving to me, each year.  Also as a counselor, I feel so   honored to spend time with teenagers and walk by their side on the journey of high school. It is a time of great growth and inquiry; it is truly amazing to be a part of it (part of their experience).

What is one interesting thing about you that most students at Marin Catholic wouldn’t know?

I am a mom of two sons (5th and 1st grade). I grew up in San Rafael, and live in an 86 year old house in Petaluma. I enjoy hiking, swimming, good food, music and art. I worked in Yosemite as a lifeguard and counselor for three summers, and have traveled to Costa Rica twice. I have two black cats that are 13 years old and a 96 year old grandmother whom I adore.

Where is the coolest place you have ever been to, visited, or traveled to?

There are so many wonderful things I’ve seen, it is hard to name just one: the day my children were born and they opened their eyes for the first; time,;or the first time they smiled, fog rolling over green hills in the early evening in Carmel Valley, snow covered trees in colorado, Paris and the eiffel tower with a slight mist….there is beauty all around us every single day. But, perhaps one of the coolest places I have ever seen might have been on a backpacking trip in Yosemite, on a trail to Preston Falls near the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. The hike in is about 2 miles along the Tuolomne River (not in Yosemite valley) and there is a spot where the water is emerald green and DEEP. There are several high rocks of varying heights and there is a large deep pool to jump into to. The water is clear and cold and like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.

Sister Mariana ~ Honors Geometry/Geometry Teacher

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How long have you have been teaching?

I have been teaching for 3 years.

What motivated you, or how did you decide to become a teacher?

When I was growing up, I realized how much my teachers impacted my life, and what a blessing a great teacher was.  So I wanted to become a great teacher, in order to be a blessing to my students!

What, for you, is the best or most rewarding thing about being a teacher?

The most rewarding thing about being a teacher is to know that you are planting seeds that will blossom for years to come!

What is one interesting about you that most students at Marin Catholic wouldn’t know?

Something students wouldn’t know is that my favorite Psalm is Psalm 131.

 

*The Roar was unable to get an interview with Ms. Megan Gardner, the newest addition to the English department. Check out future publications to learn more about her!

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New Teachers and Counselors of MC: 2015 Edition