Maryanne Margiotta has been a high school English teacher at Southwick Regional School for the past 17 years. This year she has been excited to take on a new role as the school’s Career Facilitator, helping students with their post-secondary choices and arranging students’ senior-year internships within the local business community. But her route to education has taken a winding path. After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in secondary education, she instead entered the corporate world and worked for a Fortune 500 firm and a number of smaller companies in marketing and sales. She later returned to her first love of education and has enjoyed being at Southwick ever since. “My roles in the business world have been a real asset to me as an educator, because I can help students understand the importance of developing communication and problem-solving skills while they are still in school,” she said.
An enthusiastic advocate of her district’s mentoring program since its inception, Margiotta was inspired by the work of the mentoring initiative Project SUCCESS and has served as a Master Mentor Evaluator for the Mentoring in Action online graduate course. She has also served for the past 10 years as her district’s Mentoring Coordinator, training and working closely with both new teachers and their mentors. In these roles she has guided mentors to use the Standards of Effective Teaching Practices in their mentoring conversations and encouraged them to become leaders in their districts.
“Like teaching, mentoring gives me great joy,” she said. She sees the incredible value of mentoring for both new teachers and veterans alike and has seen firsthand the benefit of the “train the trainer” model in Project SUCCESS and in her work with the Mentoring in Action Team. She looks forward to helping her district expand its mentoring program to empower emerging teacher leaders and to sharing this mentoring vision with other districts.