The Spartan Star

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The Spartan Star

The Spartan Star

Teacher Alumni: Spotlight on Ms. Zerante

On many occasions, we meet a new teacher at the beginning of the year and discover that they’ve experienced Marian firsthand as students as well. We turn to email them at 11 p.m. at night begging for an extension on the research paper draft due the next day and when they respond, we see the little number referring to the year they graduated. Most of the time we’re confused as to why they would want to come back and “relive their high school years”, but is that even a reason they’re here? Being curious about this myself, I decided to go to some of my favorite teachers I’ve had in the past or simply heard great things about and interview them about the reasons they decided to come back and teach (and/or coach) at Marian.

The first teacher I looked into is someone who has taught me in three different classes: Mrs. Zerante. As an English department chair, AP/ Honors teacher, softball coach, and most importantly, a graduate of Marian in the class of ‘11, she was an obvious first choice for me. Mrs. Zerante shared a little Marian memory of hers from when she was a Senior, stating that she was ironically voted “Most Likely to be a Teacher at Marian” by her class. As a student of hers, I can absolutely see why (in the best way possible!). However, when she went to college, she looked into the public relations aspect of things until one of her English teachers questioned her about becoming an English major. She backed up her reasoning for switching to an English major with her love of pulling apart text and finding ideas to write about. Mrs. Zerante took this passion with her and decided she would take her English degree and become a teacher. Not only did her college professors inspire her, but the English teachers she had at Marian also did.

When asked about what part of the Marian curriculum prepared her the most, she replied “You’re not gonna like my answer but the research papers.” As mentioned earlier, one of the most time-consuming assignments as a student is writing a research paper. However, from Mrs. Zerante’s point of view, it’s all worth it, especially because of all the resources Marian provides us that make it much simpler for us than it is for others. Not only does Marian provide us with the resources needed to write research papers, but also the skills needed to succeed in college, just like Mrs. Zerante. She offered a few examples of important resources such as the databases, AP classes, and development of time management and organization at Marian which all prepared her for the speed and depth of university courses. Overall, she asserted that Marian is all about “independent learning” and that “it’s okay to need a different thing than somebody else.” Mrs. Zerante isn’t just a great teacher, she’s also one of the best people to turn to for support and reassurance.

Not only does Mrs. Zerante represent Marian as a teacher, but also as a softball coach. She played softball as a catcher all throughout high school and college. Zerante stated that not only did it teach her life lessons about teamwork and adversity, but also about the great memories that you can make alongside your peers at Marian. As a teacher at Marian, she wanted to “re-create those spaces for kids and give [them] memories that [they] will remember.” Another thing she commented that stuck with me was: “Sure, you won’t remember the score against Benet, but you’ll remember the bus ride there and the overnight trips taken with your team.” Mrs. Zerante concluded that the memories and friends you make along the way are some of the best experiences one could have. This is the reason she came back to teach; to aid students in gaining that same experience that she cherishes herself.

As a teacher and a Marian alum, Mrs. Zerante aims to create a safe and fun environment for students; an area where they can make unforgettable memories and think back on their experience in high school in appreciation. In my humble opinion, Mrs. Zerante has absolutely succeeded.

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