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A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12
A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12

TEACHER TUESDAY BLOG

"The teachers at ESD have transformed my life. In doing that, I have grown and touched the moon!"
- A member of the Class of 2018

Check back each week for a new post! 

Max Auge, Sixth Grade and Upper School Biology Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
My motivation to teach comes from my passion for learning and my passion for biology’s role in the betterment of world-kind.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
I work alongside students and colleagues who strive to do their best each and every day.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
Challenge yourself, follow your passions, and turn mistakes into opportunities for growth.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
My hobbies include biking, gardening, and dog walks

What is your favorite book and why? 
The Harry Potter series- its message is so uplifting. Love triumphs over evil.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Charles Darwin & Gregor Mendel- they were contemporaries and giants in our field that never met- to hear them share and discuss their theories on evolution and genetics, two big pieces of the puzzle of life.

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School, Middle School on Tuesday February 12
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Leonardo Arango, Middle School Spanish Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
The joy of seeing my students producing the target language (Spanish) spontaneously and fluently in class.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
Spending time with my advisory and my groups. They respect me, give me so much love and appreciation. That is priceless.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
I not only teach my students how to consciously use Spanish, but also, I help them with digital literacy skills. After two years of having Spanish with me, they can use pretty well Google Apps, Schoology, Screencastify, and other digital resources. 
Also, I teach them how to become critical and independent learners; and most importantly, how to learn from trial and error (by accepting that it is OK to make mistakes because we learn from them).

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I like to go to the gym and ride motorcycles. I have restored motorcycles in the past, but currently, I have a Mercedes Benz CLK500 convertible that I am restoring (I would be a mechanical engineer if I was good with numbers). 

What is your favorite book and why? 
In the last two years, the Bible has become my favorite book. My wife has a VAST knowledge of the scriptures, and every week I ask one of the many existential questions that I have had for years, and we find the answer in the scriptures. The book has a literal and a symbolic definition for every single event that has ever happened (and will happen) in history. It's mind-blowing.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Luciano Pavarotti: I would ask him to perform"Pagliacci" one more time. Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs: I would simply listen to the two of them exchanging ideas together. These two man have created things that have revolutionized our world forever.

Posted by Katie Voss in Middle School on Tuesday February 5
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Greg Randall, Upper School English Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach?
I was an English major who then went to graduate school, where I taught some freshman composition classes, including a night class at a prison, El Reno (Oklahoma) Federal Reformatory for first-time  offenders ages 18-28. (In one regard, these students were much like the ones that I teach now: they wanted me to take their writing seriously.) I needed a job. Early on in my first one at an independent school, I realized that I enjoyed the daily interaction with students and learning in an environment that promotes creativity and discussion.  Sharing my interest in reading and writing was a terrific way to spend the day.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day?
Many days my classes address the big questions, the ones that I consider often, and most often by way of the literature. I enjoy listening to my students' views on these questions as well as on the news of the day. Of course, reading closely and writing with commitment and a strong voice--the heart of an English class--are great fun for me. My colleagues, especially during nice weather on the back porch of the dining hall, are engaging conversationalists.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom?
The natural world is spiritual and medicinal--and we must protect our fragile home.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself!
Back in the early ‘70s when it was safer and acceptable, I hiked and hitchhiked most summers during college—around Maui, throughout Northern California, and from Oklahoma to the Grand Tetons. I’m less adventurous today. Working out at the YMCA on my way home from school helps me empty and then refocus my mind. When it's halfway decent weather, I spend much of my weekend outside, especially gardening or tinkering, and my favorite vacations are spent hiking in the mountains or on the coast, especially in Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, the Hill Country, and Olympic National Park. Spending time with my grandchildren is a hoot; they remind me of life’s simple joys.  

What is your favorite book and why?
Dickens’ Great Expectations has eccentric characters and a coincidental plot that spirals together. The humor and pathos reflect what life seems to be.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why?
My sister and I talk often about how we would like to know more about our parents, the stories that we have forgotten, stories that are a part of who we are. I would add our grandparents and brother for a long Thanksgiving meal of memories. Even better would be all of my family, past and present, at dinner.

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday January 29
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Ann Carter, Pre-K Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
I was a born teacher! My Grandmother taught second grade for 25 years and I think that passion was passed on to me.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
I love teaching in the Pre-K classroom. The joy, smiles and hugs I get every morning ALWAYS starts my day off on a positive.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
Treat others as you would want to be treated, kindness matters, and live in the moment. To quote Winnie the Pooh:
“What day is it?"
"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
"My favorite day," said Pooh.

What is a hobby nobody would guess you would have? What do you enjoy outside of the classroom? Do you have a sports team or art form that you particularly enjoy or cheer for? Or tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I LOVE to cook!! I enjoy trying new recipes from the many cookbooks that I read. My “inner Giada” would love a cooking show!!

What is your favorite book and why? 
My favorite book is Jesus Calling. I have read it everyday for 10 years and there is always a new message that is meaningful at the moment.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Jesus, because I would want to thank him for what he does in my life. Elton John, because I have loved his music my entire life. Thankfully, I was able to attend his farewell tour in Dallas with my daughter. I would want to see my PawPaw again. He paved the way for me being a teacher – he was the kindest, most sincere man.

Posted by Katie Voss in Lower School on Tuesday January 22 at 02:08PM
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Mercedes Hotz, Upper School Spanish Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
I attended a boarding school throughout my secondary education career and encountered many wonderful and inspiring teachers.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
Due to the ESD faculty and students, it is a joy to come to ESD everyday to teach the subject I have never grown tired of teaching.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
The importance of honor and respect of others and the life lessons that deal with being responsible.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
My hobby is interior design. Outside of the classroom I enjoy listening to music and attending opera and ballet.
My sports team is Royal Madrid Soccer Team and the Chelsea Soccer Team.

What is your favorite book and why? 
Irving Stone's "Agony and Ecstasy: The Life of Vincent Van Gogh."

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Tchaikovsky, Picasso, and Jorge Luis Borges.

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday January 15
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Edna Cannata, Kindergarten Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
I came into teaching later in my career. I worked in public health for the first half of my life. My favorite part of public health was teaching children how to make healthy eating choices and how to cook. From there, I realized I wanted to teach. I love the joy and curiosity that children bring with them into the classroom. So I went back to school and got my teaching certification. 

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
I love the joy and curiosity that my students bring into the classroom. They arrive each morning with a big smile, ready to learn! I am excited to see what they discover as they learn. I also have the privilege of working with so many amazing and talented teachers. I am inspired daily by their innovative and caring teaching skills. The ESD environment is one of respect and support.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
I want my students to respect others and to be inclusive of others.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
We lived on the Italian Rivera in Genoa, Italy for 18 months. Because of that time, we were able to travel all over Europe. One my favorite activities was riding bikes on the city walls of Lucca, Italy. 
My husband says my super power is my ability to recognize and know a large variety of obscure animals and plants. My undergraduate degree was in biology and I truly wanted to be a biologist working for National Geographic. I love to visit any zoo, natural history museum, or park where I can learn more about animals. 
I watch football and cheer on the Vanderbilt Commodores (Anchor Down) and the UT Longhorns (hook em).

What is your favorite book and why? 
Lord of the Rings trilogy. I always enjoy an end of the world, good vs. evil story. I wonder if I could be as courageous as Frodo or any of the members of the fellowship of the ring are and what would I do if was in their place.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Michelle Obama - Inspirational woman who continues to promote children's issues such as eating healthy and educating girls. I loved her quote "When they go, low we go high."
Rick Steves - I have traveled all over Europe following Rick's dining and walking suggestions. Rick encourages you to live like a native of the country you are visiting.
Robert Crosthwait - my father, he passed away 13 years ago and we still miss him. I would love for him to see me teaching, to meet my adult children, and his great grandson.

Posted by Katie Voss in Lower School on Tuesday January 8
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Mike Schneider, Physical Education Department Chair

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
I started coaching young kids while I was in college and really enjoyed watching them learn, grow and enjoy being active. I was hooked.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
I always feel like I can make a positive difference in students' lives. The connections and relationships I have with students are priceless. And I love the people I work with. They give ESD their hearts and souls and I am inspired by them.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
Health and Wellness class is all about living life to its fullest and being the best you can be. Is there a more important lesson for anyone to learn?

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I love Disney musicals. Mary Poppins is my favorite movie. I love playing sports outside of school- especially softball and basketball with some of my old students.

What is your favorite book and why? 
Any Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes book. I love a great mystery.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
My dad, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln. Men of integrity who did the right thing even if it was the tougher decision.

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday December 18, 2018
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Lisa Rusnak: Middle School English Teacher and Fifth-Grade Advisor

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
I love working with children and helping them discover new things about themselves and the world around them. I feel like I am making a difference in the profession I have chosen.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
The students...the students...the students. If I have a rough morning or if I feel stressed, as soon as I see my students and their smiles, my mood is immediately lifted.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
The theme for my class is self discovery. I want my students to learn more about themselves and their place in the world.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
When I have time to work on my hobby, I love to scrapbook, and so far I have completed fifteen books. They are a gift to my children. A fun fact is I have my private pilot's license.

What is your favorite book and why? 
My favorite book is BOYS IN THE BOAT. I love enjoying a good story while learning historical facts.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
I would have dinner with Jim Morrison because I love The Doors, and his voice is mesmerizing. I would also choose Maya Angelou because I love her poetry and her outlook on life ,and Katherine of Aragon, Henry the VIII's first wife. I am very interested in that time period in history, so I would pick her brain as to what her life was like.

Posted by Katie Voss in Middle School on Tuesday December 11, 2018
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Chelle Wabrek: Interim Head of Middle School

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
My college advisor, Tony Aveni, was an archaeoastronomer who cared deeply about teaching his students how to think. He constantly pushed me out of my comfort zone to think creatively, collaboratively and with an open heart. I wanted to pay that gift forward.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
The AMAZING students, talented faculty and dedicated staff.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
When I completed my final education class my Senior year at Colgate, I had to write a one sentence mission statement for my teaching life. This same note card hangs in my office to this day, more than 20 years later, and reads, "To create a world of actively engaged problem solvers who find joy in everyday life."

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I grew up in a family that believed food was love so it brings me great joy to cook AND watch the Saints win football games!

What is your favorite book and why? 
C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. My mom read this series to me when I was a kid and I read it to my boys as well. It is a book that can be read at so many different levels and its lessons about forgiveness, courage and transformation stay with me each day.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of both France and England, Mother Teresa and Beyoncé -- three strong, interesting women who are always pushing the boundaries in their work.

Posted by Katie Voss in Middle School on Tuesday December 4, 2018
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Carson Krook: Middle School Science Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
Partly my father who was a science teacher. Also, when I was teaching swimming lessons one summer I saw all the eager faces of the kids as they were about to start lessons and I said to myself, "I want to teach."

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
In a word, people... students, colleagues, staff, parents.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
Never judge a book by its cover and don't just know the "rules of the road," follow them.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I have been competing in triathlons since 2013.

What is your favorite book and why? 
Einstein: His Life and Universe. I admire Einstein's belief that imagination is more important than knowledge.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Albert Einstein, my mother and father.

Posted by Katie Voss in Middle School on Tuesday November 13, 2018
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Choose groups to clone to:

Lower School

4344 Colgate Avenue
Dallas, Texas, 75225
214-353-5818

Middle & Upper School

4100 Merrell Road
Dallas, Texas, 75229
214-358-4368

Wolf Run Ranch

located near Anna, Texas

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