What Are Our Teachers Doing Next Year?

Every year, Regina Dominican faces change. Seniors graduate, a new class of freshmen come in, and girls transfer to and from Regina. Yet students often forget that seemingly the most static members of the RD community can change, too. This year, several of our faculty and staff will be moving on to different chapters of their lives, both in and out of Regina. Remaining at Regina, Ms. Cassidy will become our college counselor, Mr. Apo will become our librarian, and Ms. Houston will return to the classroom. On the other hand, Mr. Betlinski, Mr. Small, Ms. Paj, and Señora Parikh will be leaving their classrooms at Regina. Can you imagine a Regina without Mr. Small?! Most of us cannot– nonetheless, he and other members of our community have decided it’s time to try something new. Read below to find his and other teachers’ plans for next year.

Mr. Apo

Why did you decide to become a librarian?00231.jpg

I had been considering going to library school since college, and the final spark was lit following a serendipitous conversation I had with a librarian while waiting for a flight at Midway Airport. Specifically, I’m drawn to the core values that libraries promote: lifelong learning, free access to information, and free speech. The age of Google in which we live is an exciting time, and while online search engines give students access to loads of information in a nanosecond, that amount of information can be overwhelming. Librarians act as stewards to the vast world of information by assisting users in finding exactly what they are looking for.

What are you going to miss most about teaching full time?

I’m going to miss the daily conversations and discussions that arise spontaneously in classes.

What are you most looking forward to in becoming the librarian at Regina?

Mrs. Houston essentially built the library from scratch. Before her years in the LRC, the library was essentially a room filled with books. However, Mrs. Houston has laid the groundwork to create an interactive space through which students and teachers can access information. I am excited to continue and extend the great work she’s done up there by introducing new programs and building a digital presence for the LRC.

What changes do you plan to make about the library next year?

The first thing is to build a library web page by which students can see what the library has to offer, such as: resources for research, our fantastic collection of fiction, an ebook catalog, a blog for students and teachers, and video tutorials to help students and parents operate websites like Turnitin and Edline. Next, I want to have a presence in classrooms. I hope to understand the projects students are working on, so I can assist in creating guides and resource lists to assist them. Lastly, I hope to provide information to teachers one what new technologies exist to help them in their curricula.

Mr. Small00266.jpg

Why are you retiring this year?

Retiring is not in my vocabulary, but after 47 years in Catholic Education, I have decided to move on to other connected areas.

What are you going to miss most about teaching at Regina Dominican?

I will miss all the teachers, staff, administrators,coaches, parents, and friends Tina and I have made, but most of all the many extraordinary Regina Dominican students we have loved both past and present.

What are you most looking forward to in retirement?

Even though I will maintain a presence at Regina Dominican with substitute teaching, field trips, etc. the fact that I will not have a schedule to adhere to allows Tina and I to do whatever we choose like, traveling, camping, campaigning, climate change awareness,basketball camps, Emmett Till presentations and exploring new avenues.

Ms. Paj

Why are you retiring this year?00258-2.jpg

I am retiring because I am old!

What are you going to miss most about teaching at Regina?

What am I going to miss most? Talking about literature with my students!

What are you most looking forward to in retirement?

I’m looking forward to having time to read, garden, cook, bake, take photographs, and sleep later than 6 a.m.

Señora Parikh

00259.jpgWhy are you leaving Regina this year?

My husband is a civil engineer and his specialty is airport runways. His current project, the new runway at O’Hare Airport, will be finished in early October of 2015. At that time, we will be going overseas to another airport project. Most likely, we will be going somewhere in the Middle East.

What are you going to miss most about teaching at Regina?

I shall miss the energy of the girls. Because we are a small community, I have been able to witness the growth of my students throughout their careers at Regina. That has been very rewarding. I shall miss my colleagues. They have sustained me through my struggles, and have shared my celebrations and accomplishments as well. I will miss the beautiful view outside my classroom window, and my daily bike ride to the campus.

What are you most looking forward to in your new job?

Because we don’t know exactly where we are going, I can’t precisely answer that question. I will most likely be teaching English as a second language, and I hope to learn Arabic. Now that my children are grown, I look forward to a new chapter in my life. It’s going to be an adventure!

Mrs. Cassidy

Why did you decide to become a college counselor?

00236.jpgI started networking and attending various workshops conducted by area college counselors because I wanted to learn about the process. I have met wonderful counselors who are more than willing to share ideas and advice.I received my MA in Counseling and Human Services in the late 90s from DePaul University. I always had an interest in the counseling field, especially college counseling. I was introduced to college counseling through a former colleague.   She was an independent counselor and I found her work fascinating. College counseling is technically a new field. Many universities who offer counseling degrees really don’t focus on college counseling.

What are you going to miss most about being a full time teacher?

Next year I will be teaching college writing and will still hold my position as the yearbook advisor. I love the classroom and interacting with the students so I am lucky that I will still have that contact.

What are you most looking forward to in college counseling?

I am looking forward to meeting the college representatives and learning about various programs offered at different colleges and universities. I am also looking forward to learning about the scholarship opportunities available to students. I am excited to take college tours and compare the various campuses. Most of all I am looking forward to working with the class of 2016 and helping them find the right fit!!

Mrs. Houston

00244.jpgAre you excited to return to teaching?

Yes – I have been having Gatsby withdrawal! There is nothing like being in the classroom with a roomful of adolescent girls and discussing literature and hearing everyone’s opinions. I eat that stuff up. I can’t say I’m excited to read 100 or so essays, but writing and reading and communication are core areas that students will need not only in school, but in their professional and personal lives. I am very excited to plan my classes over the summer and get back into the classroom to teach, but to also learn from my students. There is no job in the world I would rather be doing!

What are you going to miss most about being the librarian?

Being surrounded by books – nothing quite like it. I had also worked in two libraries when I was in college. There is something so special and comforting about being in a space that is full of books – it really is a paradise!

What experiences from the past two years will you bring back to the classroom?

I will certainly bring back my love of technology into the classroom. As the librarian, I had some time to go to many educational technology workshops. I don’t think many students know that today’s librarian isn’t such a curator of books or helping students access information, but many are now on the forefront of new technology and integrating technology into the library as well as helping teachers integrate the technology into classrooms. Although I will be teaching, I will also be helping with our 1:1 iPads. Schools today are going through a new technology craze – the use of tablets into the classroom open up so many possibilities and we are just beginning to tap into all the wonderful things technology can do to enhance learning. It is very exciting and new and the possibilities, as corny as it may sound, are limitless!