By Emma Dimaio, Staff Writer
On the 7th of April, it was a normal day 4 for Ms. Talarico as she taught her block A sophomore English class. “We were watching Othello in my Block A class because the students were working on an essay comparing character relationships in the play and in the film,” Talarico described. What those students didn’t know is that they would receive a much needed break from Shakespeare that morning. “First, I saw Ms. Gerstner and Mr. Nixon and I was like… oh, no. Is this something bad? Then I saw Mrs. Rattner,” said Mrs. Talarico. Mrs. Rattner has turned into quite the celebrity at GL nowadays, and it was then that both Talarico and her students knew that something legendary was about to unfold. “She was holding a balloon, and I figured she wouldn’t bring me a balloon if something bad was going on.”
Mrs. Talarico was then awarded Teacher or the Year! She had accepted the award quite
gracefully, but the split second of her bashfully putting her face in her hands was captured in the shot that made it onto the school website! “This is extremely awesome. As much as I joke about being terrified when the administrators came to my classroom or about being awkward in my picture on the website, this honor really means a great deal to me. I work hard at what I do, and I put my heart into this job. And I wish everyone could be so lucky to have a job that is as fantastic and as fulfilling as this one. So to be recognized for my efforts is the highest compliment I could imagine receiving. I’m so very grateful to those who nominated me and to all of the students and colleagues who inspire me every day,” Talarico beamed when asked about her award.
Other teachers like Mr. McGovern were ecstatic for Talarico’s success. “I’m very happy for her,” says McGovern. “I believe she is 120% deserving of such an honor!”
Andrew Clark and Dominique DeRose are two of the many students who absolutely agreed with the choice after having worked with Mrs. Talarico one-on-one several times over the past two years. “She’s an amazing teacher,” said DeRose, who had worked up close with Talarico on the shows Boeing Boeing and Little Shop of Horrors creating amazing costume pieces for the casts to sport on stage. “I thoroughly enjoyed her English class my sophomore year and working with her on the shows this past year,” DeRose explained.
“She more than deserves this award,” says Andrew Clark “because she is a phenomenal teacher who tries her hardest to make the students enjoy English as much as she does. This creates a fun and enriching class that EVERYONE looks forward to.”
Students who can usually be seen within a ten foot radius of room 125 were unsurprised by Talarico’s inevitable recognition. “She really deserves it,” says Ellie Leick. “She works hard between classes, the shows AND getting her master’s degree! She takes time to work with all of her students individually and truly cares about each and every one of them.”
Many of Talarico’s students attended the Teacher of Year Awards Ceremony on May 8, including alumni! There was a large turn out for the ceremony overall as each teacher of the year from all the schools in the district made a heartfelt and memorable speech. Each teacher had a section of the audience that held flowers, cheered, laughed at inside jokes and shed a tear every now and then. Mrs. Talarico’s speech made the grand finale and closed the ceremony with grace and some very powerful GL pride!
And from everyone else, congratulations and good luck Mrs. Talarico!