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Faculty Friday Blog

Faculty Friday - Meet Mr. Brenner!

October 23, 2020
By Jenny Peel

Meet Mr. Brenner - 6th Grade Teacher

What inspired you to teach? 
Who - Mrs. Hawkings, Mr. Cox, Mr. Gerrick
Why - A combination of the general mantras that "with knowledge comes power" and "with great power comes great responsibility."
 
What do you love about teaching at SPES? 
The Christian atmosphere and the attentiveness of the students.
 
Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what do you hope students gain from being in your classroom? 
Mental agility, emotional maturity, and the ability to have personal insight.
 
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I can freehand draw the world map from memory (to a reasonable degree of accuracy)!
 
What is your favorite book and why? 
Catcher in the Rye
The unabashed reveling in the general malaise of teen angst...
 
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why?
My Grandfathers and my son.
-or-
Jesus - one on one
-then-
Diogenes, Gandhi, and Lincoln.
 
(I'm assuming that Jesus and Diogenes would be speaking in English...  :)  )

Faculty Friday - Meet Mrs. Dizdar!

September 25, 2020
By Jenny Peel

Meet Mrs. Dizdar - 2nd Grade Teacher

What inspired you to teach?
 My eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Wolfe, made such an impact in my life and knowledge of literacy and history. We have a lifelong friendship... she was a guest at my wedding and met my daughter when she was a tiny baby! I knew from that experience that I wanted to be able to impact childrens' lives like she impacted mine.
 
 What do you love about teaching at SPES?
 I love the community and family atmosphere. From the minute I started working at St. Paul's, every single teacher and community member made me feel welcomed, loved and appreciated. You can tell the kids are happy and well cared for in this environment which makes learning fun for everyone! Being able to make my classroom a safe and encouraging environment has been such a blessing.
 
Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what do you hope students gain from being in your classroom? 
I hope they continue to love each other and show kindness to their own community and those beyond it. I want my students to be active citizens in their environment and be able to show empathy and care for others, especially those who are less fortunate than themselves. 
 
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I am half Canadian and my husband is half Croatian. We have had many opportunities to travel and see awesome places because of that! We took my daughter to Canada when she was 6 months old and plan on taking her to Croatia as soon as we can (with baby brother in tow!).
 
What is your favorite book and why?
 My favorite book is Ron Clark's Essential 55. I love this book because Ron Clark inspires me as a teacher and his philosophy of teaching and dedication to the profession is incredible to read about! My eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Wolfe, read it to our class and it was the start of a long desire to become an educator!
 
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
My husband's paternal grandmother- she was an amazing person who dedicated her life to helping those in the Rio Grande Valley, particularly those seeking to emigrate to the US and those who wanted to learn English. She spent time reading the Bible to them in English and caring for them and their families. 
 
Ron Clark, the author of the Essential 55, because I would love to hear about his experiences in person and share some of mine with him.
 
My mother's grandmother, because my mother has fond memories with her that have filled my ears with stories since I was tiny and I would love to share in those experiences, too!

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