The second semester at Marquette Catholic High School commenced on January 6, 2020. The school welcomed two new teachers: William Messer of the mathematics department and Stacey Cassady of the English department. These additional staff members, who will be teaching all grade levels, received a very warm welcome from the students and staff.
In addition to the new semester and teachers, Marquette welcomed three new international students from Brazil. Each student has been enrolled at Marquette for varying lengths of time, ranging from one month to the full semester.
As a new addition to the Marquette English department, Stacey Cassady has plenty of stories to share with the students. Although she graduated from Valparaiso University with a Master’s degree in English with a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate, she did not start out as an English teacher. She became a mother, then an insurance agent, a clerk, a secretary, and even worked in law enforcement for Lake County and LaPorte. These credentials have not only given her great stories but have helped her to practice empathy, an essential muscle for teachers to exercise.
After gaining experience and learning lessons through her various careers, Cassady became a teacher at Valparaiso University, teaching humanities and university writing. When a teaching spot opened up at Marquette, she originally ignored the advertisement. It was not until a past work colleague had started working with a Marquette parent that Cassady followed through on the opportunity. Soon after, she joined the staff at Marquette.
Cassady is just as excited to be starting fresh at a new school as the students are to be starting with a new teacher.
“With anything new, I get to reinvent myself. I’m challenged with living up to the responsibility of my students’ success,” said Cassady. “But most importantly, I get to make a difference in my students’ lives even if I don’t see that difference. Seeing students succeed and be excited about what they’re learning proves that the work is worth it.”
Zoe Kolosci is a stand-out student for her dedication to her academics and her involvement in the school community. As a student in the Marquette University program, she has been taking college-level classes since her Freshman year. Along with her high school diploma, the program has placed her on a track to graduate with an Associate’s Degree. This semester, the load is so extensive that she is taking a class online and doubling up in the last period of her school day. Despite this great responsibility, Kolosci is thorough in her work and attentive in all of her classes.
Another notable quality of Kolosci’s is her involvement in the school community. She is a cheerleader, a stagehand, and an actress. Kolosci’s family has also hosted five international students over her three years at Marquette. Her fast-paced day allows these students to experience what a bustling American life is like, and, in turn, allowed her to visit Spain to live with one of them for a short period of time. Some of Kolosci’s favorite memories at Marquette include cast dinners after theatre production opening nights, field trips, and Kairos, a religious retreat offered to upperclassmen.
Kolosci’s biggest challenge is balancing her class load, social life, and extracurriculars, but she is grateful for her family and friend’s support through her devotion to her advanced courses and involvement in the school community.
Kolosci had a few words of advice to her fellow students: “Work as hard as you possibly can. Never let anything get in the way of your success, and if you ever need help, seek it out.”
What’s Coming Up?
On January 17, Marquette will welcome Mike Avery, the head men’s soccer coach of thirteen years at Valparaiso University. Avery will be lecturing the student body on leadership, community, empathy, and inclusion.
Beyond his coaching experience, he founded the #oneVALPO campaign. The campaign was a movement towards inclusion and diversity as a reaction to a racially-charged incident on the field during a soccer match. Avery and his team took the negative experience and turned it into a positive movement towards educating on diversity, reducing hatred, and embracing inclusion.
In addition to establishing the #oneVALPO campaign, Avery is a supporter of TOCO (They Often Cry Outreach), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization working to improve the lives of at-risk and orphaned children in the Caribbean by providing educational programs, health services, and activities. Avery’s advocacy for the inclusion and elevation of others makes him a speaker and leader that the student body could learn a lot from.
In addition to the upcoming speaker, Marquette Performing Arts will be hosting its inaugural Trivia Night as a fundraiser for the drama department. It will be held Saturday, January 25, inside the Richard & Louise Scholl Student Center common areas. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the event will begin at 6:00 p.m. It costs $10 per person, but reservations can be made at MQTTPerformingArts@gmail.com. The kid-friendly event will include prizes and a raffle.