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I teach Junior High Social Studies and am a 6th Grade homeroom teacher. I have been teaching at SJS since 2015 and have 25 years of teaching experience overall – all in Catholic Middle Schools. I use technology to develop higher thinking skills in my students and have a good rapport with students at this age, which keeps me coming back for more! I served as a member of the Chicago Archdiocese team developing new Social Studies thematic units.
I am married and have a son in high school.
The thing I like most about SJS is the commitment to excellence with an emphasis on our faith, as shown through countless actions and daily small things by everyone associated with our school.
I like teaching Middle School because it is when the students are reaching a mature-enough age to begin approaching a deeper level of thinking about topics in both social studies and religion, yet they are also young enough to “shape minds” in a way that becomes more difficult once they are in high school.
My advice to incoming 6th graders: Be confident. It may sound scary, with more teachers, and it may sound like you will have more work to do, but everyone is planning for helping you grow at a pace you can handle.
My #1 tip for Middle Schoolers: Be proactive. Procrastination is your #1 enemy. Begin studying early; don’t wait until a day or two before a test. If you balance your time well, you will be able to get all of your homework and studying done on time, with far less stress, and still have time to do the things you like to do outside of school. Book times for yourself to get things done. Hold yourself accountable for what you need to do. Plan ahead. Ask questions. All of these are part of being proactive.
My favorites: I don’t know that I have a favorite book or movie. The topic is too wide. My favorite food is Cepelinai (also called Zeppelins), a Lithuanian dish that looks like a potato ball stuffed with pork, and a kind of bacon gravy on top. For vacations, I generally like to always try somewhere new, rarely visiting the same place twice. The exception would be local one-night getaways in Michigan or Wisconsin. For destination trips, I have always wanted to say I’ve been to all 50 U.S. states; I’m 98% there, and hope to one day complete it by visiting Alaska. Every trip, though, had more than one thing to be grateful for, so it is hard to say that one is a favorite spot. Maybe I could say that I have nothing to recommend seeing in Oklahoma or Kansas.