Family Values: Welcoming the New Salesian Faculty & Staff

Salvatore Bonasia ‘22

As we enter another hopeful school year at Salesian High School, we warmly welcome the new staff and faculty who have joined our Salesian family and are getting adjusted to the new safety protocols implemented at school. We introduce into our community with open arms: Mr. Andres Martinez, Dean of Students, Mrs. Cynthia Chambers, Assistant Principal of Academics, Mrs. Lisa Correale Receptionist/Assistant to the President, Ms. Ariana Garcia, English Teacher, Mr. Chris Corsi Science Teacher, and Mr. Ted McCourtney, the newest addition to our Guidance Department. All of our new faculty are excited to start their year here at Salesian and all have been driven to this school by the same factor, our school’s familial spirit in community and brotherhood.

“I had the opportunity to take my 8th grade class to The Feast of Don Bosco Mass. It was there that I noticed how close everyone was… I loved the sense of family the school showed me.”

Ms. Garcia

Ms. Garcia explains it perfectly when she gives her first-hand experience with the Salesian community. She even says that when she saw the opportunity to apply here, she just couldn’t pass it up! Our educational system and the way in which we integrate the foundations of our religion with the teaching styles at Salesian are commemorable.

“Salesian HS embraces each individual student and allows for personal and academic growth in a family environment where people truly care!”

Mrs. Correale

Mrs. Correale has her own beliefs on the school structure. She has seen this throughout the years when she was a cheerleader there when her two sons attended the school and now she wants to help in any way I can to reinforce the spiritual and academic growth of the students. The way Salesian bases their history of Don Bosco and implements it into the students’ daily lives fascinates our new staff as well.

Mrs. Chambers is a big fan of St. Don Bosco and Francis de Sales, she writes…

“I admire the educational system of Don Bosco and hope to learn more about it. I am impressed by the culture and spirit of Salesian High School and really wanted to be part of starting the school’s second century!”

Mrs. Chambers

The hybrid and remote schedules have affected both students and teachers alike, and we all have had our own fair share of struggles with them, whether it be an internet issue or a malfunction in the system for posting work. Ms. Garcia worries greatly for her students who chose to stay remote-only.

“For students who are strictly remote, I fear they will never feel a part of the class. I try to make jokes and comment to each student to make them feel comfortable and present.”

Ms. Garcia

As for a way to counteract this problem, she plans to assign more group work and projects to her kids so that at least those kids who are staying home all the time will have at least some kind of interaction with other students. Mrs. Chambers also mentions in her interview that this hybrid schedule has made her realize how often she would go to someone quickly to meet and talk with them in person. She even adds that we should all take into consideration the strain that emails often times put on communication.

“Emails just aren’t as effective when building relationships.”

Mrs. Chambers

While trying to adjust and settle into the new community, she’d like to make as many connections with both staff and students as possible. She, too, has her own to make the best of the situation by being very intentional about reaching out to people and setting aside dedicated time to meet with different members within the community. All teachers have challenges they are faced with, and many of them, at the moment, come from the implementation of hybrid learning into our daily work lives.

While Ms. Garcia is able to overcome these problems, she still has to get used to the adjustments with hybrid scheduling.

“The one huge adjustment is wearing a mask. I have the habit of reading lips as someone speaks to help me understand what he or she is saying. Not only the students but myself, are forced to speak up and articulate our words. You might hear me say ‘What?’ a couple of times throughout the school day.”

Ms. Garcia

While also trying to counter the pandemic in both their social and work lives, Mrs. Chambers has plans to implement throughout the school year and for now her main goal is to learn.

“I hope to learn more about the school’s traditions and culture; to learn from the diverse experiences of the faculty and to begin to build relationships with students as individuals and groups.”

Mrs. Chambers

She adds that she would also like to help the Salesian community members to be able to collaborate more effectively with one another. Regarding the betterment of the Salesian environment, Mrs. Chambers concludes that she’d like to be of service to the community and hopes that her enthusiasm for Catholic Education is contagious, and she could try to help acknowledge the progress of each student throughout the year. In reference to what teachers are trying to accomplish overall for their students, Ms. Garcia speaks on behalf of all teachers.

“I would love for each and every student to build their own confidence in reading and writing. I want them to learn that it is okay to question the text, it is okay to not understand, and it is okay to often have writer’s block. My goal is to teach strategies to overcome these obstacles.”

Ms. Garcia

She looks forward to working with all her students this year, and I believe all teachers could agree on that. There is no questioning the excitement and enthusiasm the new faculty has with the current positions on the faculty roster. Each of them are humbled, eager to learn, and eager to serve.

“I am so grateful to everyone here at Salesian HS for making me feel welcomed into the Salesian family and for helping me adjust to this new position.”

Mrs. Correale