Carla (DeGironimo) Pastore
As a presidential scholar, I graduated summa cum laude from Ramapo in May of 2007, having completed the secondary teacher certification program and with a degree in Literature. In my last few weeks of student teaching at Indian Hills High School in Oakland, I was offered the opportunity to return to the school as a permanent substitute for the month of June. In that month, I learned not only that I could handle a classroom of my own, but that teaching English was definitely what I wanted to do.
Revising and re-revising my resume, I began actively searching for an English teacher position. I interviewed both in central and northern New Jersey, not knowing where I would find myself come September. I was offered a maternity leave replacement position, but I followed someone’s advice and did what was best for me. I interviewed and gave a demo lesson at Waldwick High School in the weeks to come, and was offered a full-time English teaching position there.
I credit my success in standing out during these interviews to the experiences that shaped me during my time at Ramapo. At Ramapo I became a member of several honor societies, including Sigma Tao Delta and Omicron Kappa Delta. As an intern for the Margaret Sanger Papers Project at NYU my junior year, I learned valuable researching skills that help me as a teacher. Ramapo’s proximity to Campgaw Mountain gave me a chance to try ski instructing after classes. Friendships I made during college with international students even helped me understand cultural nuances and proper enunciations in the literature I read. The variety of opportunities available at Ramapo is the reason that I am now returning to pursue a graduate degree there.
It is now almost September, 2008, and I am preparing to return to Waldwick High School for my second year. At Waldwick I teach Journalism and ninth grade English. I am also the advisor to the school newspaper, The Echo, for the second year in a row. Advice I give my students is to take advantage of every opportunity college has to offer. Try things out that you might not ordinarily do. Go to the opera on one of those $15 all-inclusive trips, and stop by to listen to a guest speaker who might actually have something interesting to say.
I have has been teaching English at Waldwick High School since 2007. I also completed my MS in Educational Technology (’10) and MA in Educational Leadership (’13), both at Ramapo. I love my teaching career, and had the opportunity to chaperone two student trips to Europe. I married my husband, Aaron, in July 2013, and honeymooned in Italy, Spain, and Croatia. My favorite memories of Ramapo include making life-long friends and going on Alternative Spring Break trips. I served as the president of the HGS Alumni Advisory Board during the 2013-14 academic year, and am excited to see the Ramapo Alumni Networking Program (RAMP) grow.