Series: The Making of a Teacher (page 1 of 2)

The Making of a Teacher is a podcast series in which teachers from Saint Andrew’s school in Austin, Texas are interviewed about their background and philosophies.

The Making of a Teacher – Dan Latreille

On this podcast episode, Science chair and “physics dork” Dan Latreille sat down with Josh to talk about his upbringing in schools, and how he found his way to Austin and Saint Andrews’s.

Dan talked about growing up in Sacramento and why he was more interested in working and making money than doing well at school.  In Dan’s words, he was “not good” at school.  Although, he definitely turned into a great student after high school, enjoying more and more math and science courses to the point where he had basically taken all of the physics classes available to him at the community college he was attending before heading to college and settling on physics as a major.  Dan spent his years in California after high school taking education courses and math and science courses all the while working with a latchkey program with kids.  After graduation, Dan taught for several years in the same school in California before deciding a move to Texas was necessary for his family.  Dan joined the faculty of Saint Andrews and after fellow physics teacher Richard Wright joined the science department, Dan then took on the unenviable position of evolving our physics program into a modeling-based program, a change which had garnered national attention, and which Dan believes serves the needs of our student population and encourages individual growth as budding scientist.


The Making of a Teacher – Jennie Luongo

On this podcast episode of “the Making of a Teacher” Josh Nelson sits down with beloved Latin teacher Jennie “Parwa” Luongo in her Latin classroom to talk about her life as a student, how she fell in love with the Classics, and in particular, Latin, and how she found her way to Saint Andrew’s.  Jennie talks with Josh about growing up in Texas, but with parents who wanted her to know about her roots in Virginia thus she spent her summers escaping the Texas summers and spending time in Virginia with relatives.  Jennie discusses her high school experience as a budding Latin student and member of her school’s Color Guard. Ms. Luongo’s Latin students will not be surprised to hear that she was especially close to her high school Latin teacher.  This very meaningful relationship in Ms. Luongo’s life inspired her to establish long-lasting and meaningful relationships with her Latin students.  


In College, Ms. Luongo furthered her Latin studies but missed the closeness with her professors she experienced in high school.  For Ms. Luongo, once she entered college, there was no question she was going to teach Latin one day.  Saint Andrew’s was lucky to snag Ms. Luongo right out of college, and we have been thanking our lucky stars every day since!  

Ms. Luongo and Josh talked about her philosophy of teaching Latin, and the benefits that being a graduate student affords her as a teacher.


The Making of a Teacher – Latryce Cole

To kick off the 2016-2017 season of “The Making of a Teacher” I decided to turn this audio podcast into a video podcast, and the Upper School’s Math Department Chair, Dr. Latryce Cole was gracious enough to let me start off the new vodcast series by interviewing her.

Dr. Cole walks us through her life growing up in a small town in Alabama where she learned about hard work and determination, and also meant that she attended high school where her mother was a teacher.  Latryce explains how she fell in love with mathematics, and why she pursued math as a subject throughout college and graduate school.  Latryce talks about her experience at Spelman College, a historically black college, or HBC and how her advisor at Spelman played a part in her deciding to get her masters in mathematics.  Latryce also talks about her early teaching experience and how talking with the diversity coordinator at an independent school led her to pursue and eventually complete a PhD in Educational Leadership.
Also, Latryce and Josh are totally wearing Star Trek shirts in the video (not planned)!



The Making of a Teacher – Episode 8 – Richard Kriese

If you can imagine it, Josh spends another beautiful Austin afternoon outside of the mLAB talking with history teacher and soccer coach, Richard Kriese.  Richard talks with Josh about his life in schools in Wisconsin and Texas, and how he came to be a teacher.  Richard describes how his career in the semi-conductor industry taught him Chemistry and how it was his desire to teach chemistry that brought him to Saint Andrew’s.  Now a history teacher, Richard discusses what it was like teaching 1st grade, then 5th grade before becoming a high school teacher of history and economics.


The Making of a Teacher – Episode 7 – Matt Kelly

It was another beautiful day in Austin when Josh interviewed English Teacher Matt Kelly behind the mLAB.  Matt Kelly describes what going to school was like for his as the baby of the 7-sibling strong Kelly family in Albuquerque.  As many students at SAS are aware of, Matt is a huge music fan, and an accomplished musician.  Matt talks with Josh about what he has learned through music and how he uses music in his English classes.  Matt recommends we all go listen to the Hindemeth Harp Sonato so here you go!

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The Making of a Teacher – Episode 6 – Scott Shumann

Josh took a field trip across campus to the Dell Fine Arts Center, and met up with SAS’ technical director and technical theater teacher Scott Schumann.  Scott talks about his experience growing up in a household that didn’t place a value on education, and how he found his love of theater by way of his astute science teacher!  In this interview, Josh gets to hear about how Scott’s tech theater students are learning by doing, a theme throughout Scott’s life and a message he imparts on his students.  Josh is over the moon when Scott defines contextualized mathematics learning by way of his students building a ladder for a production.  A great conversation that took place over the course of two days in April.


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The Making of a Teacher – Episode 5 – Cheyenne Maechtle!

In this episode of The Making of a Teacher, CTI Josh talks with Mandarin teacher Cheyenne Maechtle about growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, how he approaches learning a new language, and how he goes about teaching languages to high school students.  Cheyenne shares how his curiosity about how things work led him to study science as a young man, and how that same curiosity led him to study languages.  Cheyenne also explains how he goes about learning a new language, and how he went from studying German in college and graduate school to living in China and learning Mandarin.



The Making of a Teacher – Episode 4 – Linh Tran

In this episode of the Making of a Teacher, Josh talks with History teacher Linh Tran about her experience growing up in the Vietnamese community in Houston and how she fell in love with the humanities while listening to a Pirate radio station late at night as a teenager, watching films and sitting in an art history class as a college student, and by reading the book “Lipstick Traces” by Greil Marcus, to name a few. Linh talks about her experiences teaching History in a large public school in Houston, and at two very different private schools on the East Coast, and what she has learned from teaching in different places.


The Making of a Teacher – Episode 3 – Eric Abell

In this episode of “the Making of a Teacher” Saint Andrew’s math teacher Eric Abell talks with CTI Joshua Nelson about his upbringing in an engineer’s house, why he became an electrical engineer right out of college, and why he became a teacher. Eric opens up about a serious skydiving accident that allowed him to become a master juggler, what he likes about teaching calculus, and why he likes “Longitude” by Dava Sobel.


The Making of a Teacher – Episode 2 – Rob Leacock

In this episode of the Making of the Teacher podcast series, CTI Josh Nelson interviews School Chaplain Rob Leacock. Rob talks about his experience in Seminary at Yale Divinity and how he decided to become a school chaplain. Rob gets into the philosophical reasons why he considers himself a “journeyman teacher” and how teaching is different than preaching.


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