Teachers Were Once Students Too!

Every weekday we wake up bright and early to head to school. As students, we walk into school tired with little energy; some of us are miserable, and we just don’t care.  Then, we go to four classes each day for about 80 minutes with a 20-25 minute lunch period. Some students may be lucky enough to have a study hall or senior lounge. What about the teachers though? They have to wake up early, sit in a classroom all day, and may not have that energy or motivation to be at school either. But that’s their job, and they come in each day ready to face us all.

The students don’t give the teachers enough props. They have to be at school, too. But of course, our teachers were once students too. They went through the same process we are going through right now. As students, we don’t know much about the staff who working together to make Ledyard High a great place. If you don’t already know some of these amazing people, let me introduce you to them.

The first teacher I would like to introduce is Mrs. Marciano. She teaches a number of classes: ceramics, art, drawing, advanced studio, and sculpting, which are all great classes to take. Mrs. Marciano not only spends her time at school teaching, but she also coaches our school’s varsity volleyball team and is also a wife and mom to her baby boy. Other than teaching and coaching, Mrs. Marciano spent her four years playing volleyball for South Windsor High School. In the photo below, you can find Mrs. Marciano located in the middle of her teammates posing with their school’s mascot, the Bobcat.

One of Mrs. Marciano’s favorite high school memories was her volleyball senior night as South Windsor High School. They played their rivals, Rockville High School, and beat them in three straight sets. She said that this was one of her most memorable moments in high school because it included so many of her friends and encompasses how great her experiences were at SWHS. The night of her senior night, a huge crowd of students attended the match, so many that they had to open an extra set of bleachers. Mrs. Marciano began playing volleyball during her freshman year and continued to carry her throughout the rest of high school and college. Volleyball gave her a sisterhood in which she made her best friends that she still has today. Two of the girls she graduated with were both in her wedding party, one of them being her maid of honor. Mrs. Marciano spent a lot of time with these girls on and off the court, celebrating their wins and their defeats. Due to sharing a strong passion for this sport, she learned how to work with the girls she played with and made lifelong friendships.

The next teacher is Mr. Person. He also teaches a good handful, such as ninth and tenth grade PE, advanced PE, and sports psychology. Outside of school, Mr. Person is a hard-working father and husband. He was also involved in baseball and attended Norwich Free Academy. In the photo below, shows Mr. Person in one of his school portrait pictures.

A memory Mr. Person shared is when he was in modern history, the girl who sat to the left of him told him, “Thanks for asking Erik, but I’m hoping to go to prom with (John Smith), the catcher on the baseball team…oh, you’re on the baseball team too? I didn’t know that.”

Next, we have Ms. Szell. You can find her teaching freshman English and is an advisor of the yearbook and journalism crew. Ms. Szell attended Mechanicville High School in New York. She also played softball covering the infield as a speedy shortstop and center fielder. Here is Ms. Szell in the photo below of her and her date before heading off to the prom.

Ms. Szell’s favorite memory of high school was the Senior Halloween Parade. It was just like what they all did in kindergarten, and only the seniors at MHS were allowed to dress up for Halloween, so they went all out with costumes and would have a parade around the hallways of the school for the underclassmen to watch. Ms. Szell said she and her friends dressed as crazy hairstylists and customers with crazy, yet, stylish hairdos. She also said that it was fun to have done this in kindergarten then coming full circle and ending with one her senior year.

Ms. Malavazos teaches 10th grade English and co-advises yearbook and journalism with Ms. Szell. One of her favorite memories is from college, her freshman year at Central Connecticut State University. One of the best parts about going to college for Ms. Malavazos was living in a suite with a few other girls who became life-long friends. Along with living with a bunch of girls, means a bunch of hair supplies. One snow day, Ms. Malavazos’ roommates took it upon themselves to straighten her crazy, curly hair. Below is a photo of it in progress. Don’t worry, they succeeded, after HOURS of multiple people working on her hair! 

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Next, we have Mr. Cartier. You can find Mr. Cartier teaching Woods I and II as well as Advanced Woods. Just like Mrs. Marciano, Mr. Cartier is married and has children. Mr. Cartier was another teacher involved in sports running for his school’s track team. In the photo below, you see Mr. Cartier posing with a super cool motorcycle.

One of Mr. Catier’s favorite memories was when he and his friend drove his dad’s AMC Gremlin to one of their track meets at the University of New Hampshire. It was a snowy evening. He and his friend were looking for a place to park when the headlights illuminated what appeared to them as a steep hill leading into a lower level parking lot. They took off down the hill only to find out that the “hill” was actually a long set of stairs. He said the snow made it impossible to turn off the steps so they kept bouncing down the stairs. Their heads hit the roof of the car until they finally shot out into the parking lot below. He said that it was like they had gotten out of a professional boxing match. But they both laughed it off and continued their evening.

Finally, let’s bring in someone that is pretty crucial to LHS. Our very own principal, Mrs. Fagan. Mrs. Fagan attended Ledyard High School, just like all of us now, and has been actively at LHS as a student, a teacher, and now a principal. She ran for the track team as the third leg in the 4x400m relay. In the photo below, Mrs. Fagan is smiling for the camera with one of her teammates at one of their meets.

A memorable moment of Mrs. Fagan’s was being a part of the track team. She said for her first three years, she had run as the third leg on the 4×400 relay with her friend Karan Rak as the fourth leg. Her team won ECCs all four years and they also won states as sophomores and juniors even placing in New Englands as 3rd. But she hated that race. It was hard and stressful. She said that she used to get sick before them. Hours before her race, she would put her headphones in to listen to music. It was State Opens, Ledyard was in the mix of the 4X400 relay. The gun went off to begin the race. The first two legs of the relay were good, but Mrs. Fagan and her friends Karen were the fastest making them the last two legs. Mrs. Fagan said the race was tough. Probably one of the most stressful relays. All the girls on the relay zoomed around the track handing off to their next leg. Karen, the final leg, slingshot around the girls ahead of her finally crossing the finish line. Ledyard had won State Opens, they were the fastest relay team in the state.

As you all know, there are many, many more teachers who teach us, but we as students should remember that they were once students themselves. I’m sure they could say that it wasn’t always fun too, but now,they are here to help us get through the elementary, middle, high school and even college experience and make it as great for us as possible.

Sophmore Iyana Kirvan is a staff writer for the 2019-2020 Colonel. She played softball for the CT Bombers travel association and recently ended her competitive career this past summer. One day, she hopes to work for the governments Central Intelligence Agency, or to work on the medical field as a midwife or for childcare.

Author: thecolonel306

The Colonel is Ledyard High School's award-winning news magazine, serving as the student voice of LHS for almost 50 years.

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