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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! 

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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Laura Ripley: Upper School English Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
I was the little girl who got chalkboards and grade books for Christmas and played school with my stuffed animals; I think it was in me from the start!! In high school, I tutored my friends... my love for teaching has grown throughout my life, I guess!

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
I absolutely love the students; they are so great. It’s fun to teach in this environment! I also love the people I’ve met on the staff; it’s great to be welcomed as part of the community.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
That life and literature are connected...to paraphrase Fitzgerald, literature reminds us that we are not alone, that others have encountered many of our obstacles, and we can learn life lessons by connecting with literature.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I play French horn, and I love college football and basketball. I’m an avid Villanova Wildcat fan (woohoo!) And I love the Razorbacks and Clemson Tigers football!

What is your favorite book and why? 
Wuthering Heights!! Hands down, it’s my favorite. I love Heathcliff and Cathy’s story; they are both such complex, beautiful/terrible characters. And it’s such a love story!

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
Jesus - I just want to talk to him. There’s so much to talk about! My Aunt Jackie - she died when I was 16, and I miss her still. I want to see what she thinks about my life and my kids. Emily Bronte - we could chat about Heathcliff. My photo submitted is of my kids and I on the moors of Yorkshire - the setting of Wuthering Heights!

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday November 6, 2018
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Angela O'Brien: Early Childhood Spanish Teacher

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
People can teach the simplest thing, how to make your bed, or the most complex one, how to drive. But certainly just a few people know how to enthrall and inspire others and being able to witness a child grasp a concept for the very first time is the best feeling in the world. My motivation is rewarding when I am able to help a student to reach with clarity their learning process. With that, being able to add self-confidence and independent growth is definitely a life-changing for them, and of course for myself.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
Every day I have the best day at ESD. I love to come and embrace myself in such a warm community of faculty and students. Life is about experiences, feelings, and memories, and I am very fortunate to be able to be in a space that recognizes them and appreciates them. This is my first year at ESD and since day one I felt how everyone greets me with great attitude and enthusiasm.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
I would like my students to leave my classroom learning respect for others above everything else and learn this golden rule to apply it in their day to day life. I would also like for them to be able to embrace changes and regard it as an adventure. And of course, taking every day as a learning opportunity to explore and enrich their lives by enjoying each little thing they can.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I am the biggest fan of the World Cup! I waited very patiently for four years to enjoy the World Cup last summer - it was great! What I like the most is that I get to know more about another culture. Everyone is happy, and, even cheering for different teams, it feels like just one community around the world.

What is your favorite book and why? 
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I’ve read this book multiple times in my life, and it always opens my eyes to something new every time I read the story. I consider myself the fox that teaches little students to be kind, honest, and real in life. I am a believer that when you do things with your heart, and with the best intention, it is the best way to expose yourself in the everyday world.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
I would go to dinner with my fifth-grade history teacher Irma Ortiz. I would love to tell her about my journey being a teacher and how she impacted my life with her confidence when I expressed to her that I was interested in becoming one. Michael, my best friend who always had the right word in the most difficult circumstances, and the biggest laugh! And finally, I would ask Princess Diana: What is the lesson of life that you have taught your children?

Posted by Katie Voss in Lower School on Tuesday October 30, 2018
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Megan Boyd '09: Cheerleading Program Director

What motivated and inspired you to teach? 
My passion for ESD, its mission, and our community motivates me in everything I do here at ESD. In both coaching and my role as Director of Alumni Relations, I strive to live out the mission, founding tenets, and beliefs of the school to better prepare our students/future alumni to enter life after ESD and be successful. For our alumni, my goal is to connect them back to the school and facilitate the relationship between our alumni and their alma mater. Whether alumni realize it or not, ESD has had an impact on our lives and helped shape us into the people we are today.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? 
ESD is an incredibly fun place to work. I believe so firmly in the mission and purpose of the school that it is easy to come to work and perpetuate that mission.

Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? 
As a coach, I hope that my athletes will learn that everyone has their own strengths and can shine in many different ways. I strive to use each individuals strengths to lift them up and boost their self confidence.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself! 
I love to spend time with my friends and family. No matter what we are doing, I just love being with my people. My boyfriend and I travel a lot and we enjoy jet setting to places neither of us have ever been. We recently went to Santa Fe and next summer, we're doing a European tour of all the big cities like Dublin, Santorini, Barcelona, and Paris!

What is your favorite book and why? 
Ummm... anything that is not a textbook, having just finished my Masters of Nonprofit Management in July.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? 
This is very cheesy, but probably my dad (who passed away 5 years ago), Garth Brooks, and Beyoncé. 

Posted by Katie Voss in Upper School on Tuesday October 23, 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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