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Italian Alumni

Krysten Astarita's Letter:

Ciao a Tutti,

Hope that everyone had a great school year. I can't believe over a year has gone by since I was last at URI and student teaching! How fast time flies! I am writing to give you all my new email address and of course to touch base and update you on my first year of teaching. Also, you can reach me during school hours at kastarita@portchesterschools.org.

This is our last week of exams. Tomorrow, as a matter of fact, is the NYS Italian Proficiency Examination for level 1 students. You can imagine how nervous I am, but hopefully my hard work will pay off.

My school year was nothing short of amazing. I loved my Italian 1 and 2 classes, and found myself constantly implementing strategies that I learned through my education courses and student teaching, and recycling just about all of the lessons that I had created in the past. I was so fortunate to have a group of students who were enthusiastic and inquisitive, or at least the majority. As for the rest, the less-motivated students, well, they definitely kept me on my feet, and I learned from every encounter and experience. I also took on the position of Italian Club Advisor, which is right up my alley, where I was able to further expose students to the beauty of the Italian culture. We had a great time. But then again, this entire year was a great time.

Being a young teacher, there was never a dull moment in the classroom, and although some of the "old timers" warned me to "not smile so much," I found that the best moments of my classes were the humorous ones, where the students and I could laugh over a good joke. I think that I was able to achieve my goal of having a relationship of mutual respect, and in turn, it served as a motivational tool. Even on the "not-so-good" days, there was always a rewarding moment that brought a smile to my face. I hope these bright feelings of being a new teacher never fade away.

Additionally, I'm happy to report that my position as a one-year leave replacement became permanent. This upcoming year will be my second year on tenure track. In August, I will be visiting the place I love most (besides Port Chester High School, of course), Italy, for a few weeks with my younger brother. We will be staying with our cousins in Sorrento, then spending a few days in Rome, and Florence, my old stomping grounds.

I hope that you have a wonderful summer and that you're doing the things that you love most too! You're often in my thoughts because in one way or another, you've shaped me into becoming the passionate, forever-learning teacher, that I've always desired to be. I owe the success of year one to all of you. Keep in touch!

With warm regards,

Krysten Astarita

Ashley Sayers (2010, ITL-TMD)

Assistant Buyer with Gucci in New York City for Ladies Ready to Wear and Silk Accessories

Kate Petterson (2010, ITL-Art History)

Paid internship teaching English to Italian secondary school students in Mantua, Italy (Fall 2010-Spring 2011) through the Instituto Tecnico Commerciale, per Geometri e per Corrispondenti in Lingue Estere "Luca Pacioli" di Crema.

Kathryn Wier (2008, ITL-Sec.Ed; Spanish Minor)

Italian and Spanish teacher at Wakefield High School (Fall 2010-Spring 2011; 3 Italian and 2 Spanish classes). English instructor (Summer 2010) at summer camps in Italy through the educational organization Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational (www.acle.org).