Welcome New Faculty & Staff!

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Meet our new 2014-2015 faculty and staff members! 

 

 

 

 

gerardGeoff Gerard, Social Studies

Q: What event inspired you to start teaching history?

A: I don’t know if there is a single event that inspired me to start teaching but I really became drawn to working with young people while coaching youth baseball.  It made me want to continue coaching/working with them more often.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when not teaching?

A: When I am not teaching I love to play and watch sports.  I especially enjoy baseball.  Being from St. Louis, the St. Louis Cardinals are my favorite team to watch.  I also enjoy being active by running, hiking, and playing basketball.

Q: What would you be doing now if you weren’t a teacher?

A: If not a teacher, I would definitely have gone into another field where I could help and mentor young people.

Q: Describe your teaching style.

A: My teaching style is wide open.  I like to change things up and have the students involved in the lesson as much as possible.

Q: You spent time teaching in Costa Rica. What did you enjoy about that?

A: It was a great experience because I was able to teach students from 20 different countries, some of whom were bilingual or trilingual.

Q: If you could watch only one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A: Forrest Gump

 

bohanMarissa Bohan (‘08), English

Q: What single event inspired you to start teaching English?

A: I don’t think there was one single event but rather a series of positive experiences, great teachers, and excellent books which nurtured my love for teaching. The summer before my senior year of high school, I attended the Governor’s Honors Program where I studied Communicative Arts (English) as well as Education. I think that did a lot to solidify my interests in both subject areas.

Q: What do you enjoy when not teaching?

A: When not teaching, I enjoy running, reading, yoga, and cooking. I try to be outside as much as possible.

Q: What would you be if you weren’t a teacher?

A: I absolutely love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything better with my time, but I think I’d enjoy being a travel writer and food critic or open my own little cafe. Being a National Geographic photographer would also be pretty swell.

Q: Describe your teaching style.

A: My teaching style changes frequently, but lately I’ve been trying to be as student-centered as possible. I think that students should be mindful and active in the process of their own learning, and I also like to have a little fun every once in a while!

Q: If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A: Besides the Bible, it would be Pride and Prejudice.

Q: As a BT alum, what unique perspective do you bring to teaching here?

A: Being an alum helps me to understand the role of the student better and understand the unspoken things between students.

 

marstonJonathon Marston, Social Studies

Q: What event inspired you to start teaching history?

A: Growing up in Texas, I was always a huge civil war buff. In the eighth grade, my dad and I spent a week traveling around to Gettysburg, PA, Antietam, MD, Bull Run, and a few other battlefields located in Virginia. After that trip, I was hooked on history. I can’t say there was one event that inspired me to teach history.

Q: What do you enjoy when not teaching?

A: When not teaching, I enjoy traveling, working out (not recently due to having two small kiddos at home), reading, debating, politics, theology, and running. Ohh, and following the South Carolina Gamecocks!

Q: What would you be if you weren’t a teacher?

A: If not a teacher, I would be a lawyer or commercial real estate developer.

Q: Describe your teaching style.

A: I would describe my teaching style as 21st Century Educator, student-centered with an emphasis on the use of technology in the classroom.

Q: What clubs, sports, or other activities were you involved with in high school?

A: In high school, I was involved with soccer and basketball.

Q: If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, which would it be?

A: I would read the Bible.

 

 lashJohn Lash, Social Studies

Q: What event inspired you to start teaching history?

A: I was inspired by my high school history teacher, Mr. Lynskey, who was a lunatic in the best sense of the word. He made me think of the way history affects everyday people instead of just a bunch of dates.

Q: What do you enjoy when not teaching?

A: When not teaching, I am usually reading sci-fi, watching sci-fi, and trying to convince my wife that she should be reading and watching sci fi. I also read history books.

Q: What would you be if you weren’t a teacher?

A: If not a teacher, I would probably work in a bookstore.

Q: Describe your teaching style.

A: Being 6’8”, I tend to scare people so I try to be laid back and I try to make my teaching style discussion based. I want to know what students know about history and see it their way.

 

freemanDr. Jim Freeman, Latin

Q: What event inspired you to start teaching Latin?

A: I had an inspiring teacher my senior year of high school who opened the door to a new world for me.  That door was the gateway to understanding the classical and Christian roots of Western Civilization.  I began to read voraciously, seeing everything with new eyes.  From that came my desire to learn Latin and Greek. During the course of my studies, philosophy and theology began to surface as my chief interests, especially the philosophy of Plato and the Gospel of John.

Q: What do you enjoy when not teaching?

A: I started doing pottery when I was at the Baylor School in Chattanooga back in 1978.  I fell in love with the craft and have been doing it ever since.  There are many metaphors in scripture regarding the potter and the clay.  I am reminded of them every time I sit down at my wheel.

Q: What would you be if you weren’t a teacher?

A: Most likely, I would have pursued the priesthood, but that would have depended on God’s calling not my desire.  I have been teaching for a long time and have seen the effects that a teacher can have in the life of students.  I am proud of what my students have achieved over the years and have grown confident that that is where God wants me to be.

Q: Describe your teaching style.

A: I love to take a topic and push it into a dimension where deep truth resides. At its best, this approach mirrors the Socratic method where, through question and answer, students begin to grasp the truth for themselves.  Such discovery can be very exciting.

Q: What do you most enjoy about teaching Latin?

A: Access to literature

Q: If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be?

A: Plato

 

wilsonChristopher Wilson; Theology teacher

Q: Why did teaching become a career goal for you?

A:  I believe that God has called me to be a teacher.  I believe that teaching corresponds well with allowing me to explore my passions and utilize the gifts that God has given me.

Q: Besides grading papers, what do you like to do in your free time? Why?

A: Along with Pope John Paul II, I consider all of my time free.  One thing that I love doing is watching Auburn football games with my 3 and half year old twin sons and cheering Auburn on to victory, especially when it’s a victory over the University of Alabama!

Q: What animal would you compare yourself to?  Why?

A: My favorite Gospel writer is St. John who is associated with the eagle.  In my better moments (which I wish were more often) the animal that I feel like I can relate to is the eagle.

Q: What’s your favorite high school memory? Why?

A:  All of my favorite high school memories involve hanging out with my friends.  Hanging out with a lot of my classmates in Orange Beach, AL, over spring break my senior year is among the top of my favorite high school memories.

Q:  What would you like to hear God say to you when you meet in heaven after death?

A: Well done good and faithful servant.  Come and be a part of the kingdom that I have prepared for you!

 

taffeDuane Taffe, Business Education teacher

Q: How did you get started in business education? What made you want to be a teacher?

A: I got started in business education by helping a coworker that led the business education course. At the time, I was working as a teacher’s assistant. She wanted to introduce computer graphics and animation into her curriculum. Years prior, I learned the skills of these programs from The Art Institute of Atlanta.  That is when I stepped in to help her and the students with learning programs like Photoshop and Flash. My desire for teaching came when I used to tutor in college. It was always rewarding to see a person evolve over the time period while they are in school. I wanted more of that feeling and began applying to schools after graduation.

Q: Prior to coming to BT, what were you doing? Did you have a job elsewhere?

A: Previously, I worked at two places. One was a middle school technology teacher in Fulton County. The other was teaching at night at a local college. Both of the jobs allowed me to focus on teaching many of the concepts I enjoy.

Q: In your leisure outside of the classroom, what do you like to do?  Why?

A: Outside of the classroom, I can be found playing basketball, video games, or with my kids. Basketball gives me the chance to exercise and have fun with my friends. Most of my video games is a solitary activity, since Mrs. Taffe is not a gamer. Playing video games lets me problem solve and explore different worlds/scenarios. Our 3 year old and 6 month old keeps us active. Pretending to be a choo-choo train or monster with them allows me to be a kid for a couple of hours a day.

Q: What is your favorite movie or television show? Why?

A: Marvel Agents of Shield has to be my favorite show, and I can’t wait for the new season. Growing up I would read a lot of Marvel comic books. It manages to use elements from Marvel movies and comic books in such inventive ways. Anyone that is a fan of the movies can be a fan of the show.

Q: If you could have dinner with 3 people, dead or alive, who would they be? Why?

A: That is a tough question. Let me mix together some of my hobbies. Former Phoenix Sun Charles Barkley would be one person that would be great to have dinner with. During the dinner, I would do my best to temper my enthusiasm being a huge Phoenix Suns fan. He is a dynamic personality that has so much to say about the sport he played and several other topics. Another person that you can add to that list would be Billy Joel.  There are not many artists that have written, sung, and played their own songs for over 40 years. It would be a pleasure to hear the stories of what it took to be such a success in the music business. A person that I pray I will have dinner with is Jesus. No other person would be able to compare with his life. Jesus would be able to tell me everything about everything. Things ranging from history and His first plans for creation. I would be especially interested in how He came to this planet and endured all the pain and did not retaliate.

 

mattickAndy Mattick; mathematics teacher

Q: Why did you want to pursue a career in teaching?

A:  My father was a teacher and I really admired the work he did.  He was very good at taking complicated topics and making them fun and easy to learn.

Q: If you had the key potion to solve any world problem, which problem would you solve? Why?

A: Homelessness.  I think the cycle that puts the people down that path is one that can be broken if you work with people soon enough.

Q: When you are not at school, what is your favorite thing to do in your free time? Why?

A:  I love hanging out with my boys.  I spend so much time away from them teaching other kids, I want them to know that they are still my favorite two kids from the things we do in the short time I get with them.

Q: What’s your favorite high school memory?

A: Going to the national tournament for ACE.  I competed in spelling, chess and basketball and had a blast on those trips.

Q: Besides math and statistics, what other interests do you have? Why?

A: I love coaching.  I wasn’t the best athlete, but I watched a lot of sports in my time on the bench and I love taking my teams and helping them maximize their strengths.  I am also a huge Philadelphia sports fan.  Go Eagles, Flyers and Phillies!…and the Sixers can just go…anywhere…

 

lancasterCathy Lancaster; upperclassmen vice principal

Q: How did you get interested in a career as an educator?

A: My interest in becoming an educator began while I was working as a secretary at a middle school.  I loved every facet of the school life, the students, the academics, the fine arts, the sports, and the teachers. I would often think why didn’t I become a teacher? It was at that point I became on fire to become a teacher.  I knew it would not be easy because I had three small children, very little money, and I would need to go to school at night.  I worked three jobs for the next four years, secretary by day, custodian at a law office a couple of nights a week, and softball umpire on weekends but with the encouragement and support of teachers, friends, family and by God’s grace I graduated from Georgia State University with honors eighteen years after high school.  I have been an educator ever since and love every minute of it.  In fact, sometimes I cannot believe I get paid to do something that is so much fun.

Q: If you could be in any profession other than teaching, which profession would you choose? Why?

A: If I could be another profession other than teaching, I would choose to become a lawyer. Specifically, I would choose to become a public defender. I admire public defenders because they exist solely for their clients.  They usually represent the most downtrodden members of our society: the poor, the homeless and the abused.  Public defenders are passionate about helping the underdog.  In my personal life, I have always had a tendency to cheer for the underdog.  Public defenders and educators have a few similar characteristics.  Both professions are exposed to different situations and personalities every day.   Both educators and public defenders get the chance to really give back to society and instill hope and encouragement to a multitude of people.

Q: What other jobs have you had in the past, either teaching or administration?

A: I have worked at Rockdale County High School and Milton High School as an Advanced Placement United States history instructor. For the past eight years, I served as an assistant principal at Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Georgia. During my career, I have coached varsity softball, tennis, golf and volleyball.

Q: Being an educator and vice principal at BT, what word do you find most annoying when people say it?

A: The phrase that annoys me most in education, “I am afraid I am going to fail”.   I personally tend to like what Comedian Bill Cosby has to say about failure:

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure”.

Q: What was your favorite pastime as a kid? Why?

A: My favorite pastime as a kid was playing any kind of sport with my Dad. He was a master at coaching Little League and he would let me play short stop at my brother’s baseball practices and he always let me bat even though I am sure my brother and his teammates wished I would just disappear. My father also taught me how to play golf and let me caddy for him sometimes. In addition, he taught me to shoot pool before I was tall enough to reach the table.  I would stand in a chair and play.

 

collinsKatie Collins (’04); Nurse

Q: Why did you aspire to be a nurse? What got you started on your journey to becoming one?

A: I was born with a congenital kidney defect that was not discovered until I was 6. After the diagnosis, I had surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Scottish Rite. There I spent over a week and only remember the fun I had with my nurses. As I grew up I always wanted to help children get better and recover from illness in the least traumatic way.

Q: In your free time, what do you enjoy doing the most? Why?

A: I most enjoy hiking and reading. Both of these activities are therapy for me after a busy week. I’m able to relax and take time for my mental and physical health.

Q: Being a BT alumnus, what was your favorite high school memory? Why?

A: Powder Puff my senior year. We had a great team and actually won that year. It was nice to have the guys teach us what they learned in football and to work as a team.

Q: If you could see any performer/band in concert (front row), who would it be?  (This person/band could be dead or alive)

A: Frank Sinatra! He reminds me of my family and all the good times we’ve spent together over the years.

Q: Besides nursing, what other occupations do you find interesting? Why?

A: Marine Biology. My love for living creatures and the sea come together to form the perfect occupation. I grew up going to Hilton Head Island every summer and have been a beach enthusiast ever since.

 

mitchlerKim Mitchler; Business Office

Q: Prior to coming to Blessed Trinity, what were you doing? Did you have a previous job before this?

A: Besides being a wife and mother of two boys, I have been working with my husband at his company, Mitchler Financial Group.  I am still his office manager.

Q: What was your favorite TV show when you were a kid? Why?

A:  I loved the show “Charlie’s Angels”.  I wanted to grow up and be an “Angel” detective:)

Q: What animal would you compare yourself to?  Why?

A:  I would compare myself to our golden retriever, Maggie, because I am always excited to see my family and friends, I am very loyal, I love unconditionally and I am a friend for life.

Q: If you could go back to any moment in history, what would it be? Why?

A:  This is a really hard question for me.  I would have several moments in history.  One of those memorable moments occurred last year on November 1st when BT beat St.Pius 21-20 and we were all on the field celebrating as a “Family”.  The night was priceless!  We didn’t want the celebration to end!

Q: Since your son graduated last year from BT, how weird is it coming back to work here?

A:  At first it was kind of hard being here and not seeing Zach, but everyone has been so welcoming.  I love seeing the students, making new friends with my co-workers, and giving back to BT as it has been so good to our family over the past 4 years.