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

Episcopal School of Dallas

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

TEACHER TUESDAY BLOG

"The ESD teachers are so welcoming and open to helping you. They want you to succeed."
- a member of the Class of 2017

Check back each week for a new post! 

Matt Figlestahler: Upper School English Teacher

 

What motivated and inspired you to teach? I ran into a former teacher during my senior year of college at North Texas. He asked me, "When do you start teaching?" A simple question on the surface, however, I hadn't planned on being a teacher. It made me think, "This person saw this in me even before I did." From that point on I have been dedicated to being the best English Teacher and Coach, I could possibly be.

What makes you excited to come to school every day? I am excited about the positive culture that has been built here. I want to help further the wonderfully positive environment here. Additionally, I love to help impact students lives, academically and personally.

Beyond your subject-area, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? As an English Teacher I always want students to be well-written and well-read. However, I MOST want students to be critical and analytical thinkers.

What are some hobbies you have outside of school? My outside of school hobbies include: running, soccer, baseball, golf, church, and family! (not all in that order!)

What is your favorite book and why? My favorite book is Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. It encapsulates the essence of what it is to question life and question the rules. All of this from the perspective of a teenage boy.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? I would love to have dinner with (in no particular order) the 14th Dalai Lama, Holden Caulfield, and Bill Murray.

Posted by englande in Upper School on Tuesday October 24, 2017 at 01:53PM
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Phil Bryan: Upper School English Teacher

 

What motivated and inspired you to teach? It seems cliche to say it, but I can think of numerous teachers who genuinely changed my life. A big part of who I am today is because of the teachers I sat under for twenty years. So as a young man thinking about my own career path, I realized that I wanted to make a difference for the future, and directly impacting people's lives is the best way to do that. Becoming a teacher gives me the most hours with people of any job I know, and those people happen to still be young and willing to take intellectual risks. What other job gives you that?

What makes you excited to come to school every day? I like to tell people that I am in the people business. I don't teach English-- I teach PEOPLE English. I am energized by both my students and colleagues, and I love that we are focused on things of permanent value: intellect, character...the very essence of humanity.

Beyond your subject-area, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? Humility is more precious than gold. It's easy to hide behind swagger and confidence, but real strength comes from both knowing and admitting your frailties. We cannot live well in community until we admit we need other people's strengths to fill in our weaknesses.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself!  I am an ordained minister, and I worked in churches for 17 years before becoming a full-time teacher. Somewhere in the middle of my time as a pastor, I was asked to teach part time. It was a slow burn, but I eventually realized that teaching was so much more fun than being a pastor. It took me a few years to fully switch careers, but I've never looked back since becoming a teacher.

What is your favorite book and why?  Ugh! That's an unfair question for an English teacher-- it's like asking me which of my kids I love most! I suppose the book that first blew my mind was Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. I'm not sure I've ever recovered from the beauty of his prose and the depth of his message.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be?  For the sake of simplicity, I'll only pick writers: C.S. Lewis, William Faulkner, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. That would probably make for wild night!

Posted by englande in Upper School on Tuesday October 17, 2017 at 03:46PM
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Mary Hansell: Director of Ed Tech and World Cultures Teacher

 

What motivated and inspired you to teach? I have always loved learning new things. Teaching is an art which requires continuous self-evaluation; there are new challenges each day because every class of students is unique.

What makes you excited to come to school every day? The students are always coming up with great questions and new ways to look at information.

Beyond your subject-area, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I hope my students will be independent thinkers and life-long learners.

What is your favorite book and why? I've been in a book club over 20 years and have lots of favorites. I enjoy reading stories that are based on historical events or describe interesting things about other cultures. I recently read Daughters of the Dragon and Mischling.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? Margaret Thatcher, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Leonardo da Vinci.

 

Posted by Emma England in Upper School on Tuesday October 10, 2017 at 05:08PM
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Angie Millar: Upper School Journalism Teacher

 

What motivated and inspired you to teach? My professional career as a journalist made me appreciate my high school journalism teacher even more. If it wasn't for her my passion for writing and current events would have never been cultivated. I decided that too many students were missing out on that opportunity to fall in love with news. 

What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? I want my students to learn how to have confidence in their thoughts and how to back up their opinions thoughtfully and factually.  

What do you enjoy outside of the classroom? Outside of the classroom I love to read and to write. I am obsessed with pop culture and love watching TV shows like Golden Girls and Game of Thrones.

What is your favorite book and why? My favorite book is Harry Potter because it is the first series that really got me hooked. I was obsessed with reading. My grandmother would read it to me every night before bed.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why? J.K Rowling because she wrote the timeless masterpiece known as Harry Potter. Walter Cronkite: A phenomenal journalist who really believed that what he did served an awesome purpose. Shonda Rhimes: Television Writer who's memoir The Year of Yes has inspired me in more ways than one. Her creative story telling and dedication to portraying diverse communities inspires me.

*Pictured above is Angie with her wand at Harry Potter World!

Posted by Emma England in Upper School on Tuesday October 3, 2017 at 12:11PM
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Mark Oglesby: Upper School Government Teacher

 

What motivated and inspired you to teach? I was inspired by my English teacher, Mel Shields, who had such a passion for and command of his subject and cared about kids. I have always wanted to work with students because they are really our future. At 18 years old, I was coaching a little league team and loved the positive impact I had in their lives.

Why are you excited to come to ESD every day? The overwhelming sense of community makes me feel at home and a part of something important. Whether it is my colleagues, the students, the parents, or others, I truly feel that I am a valued and appreciated part of the ESD community. It is a nice feeling to have.

What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom? In the classroom, I tell my students if there is only one thing you get out of my class, I want you to be critical-thinking citizens. I don't want them to be critical, but I want them to think about what is going on in our world and think about what they can do to make it better. And, of course, I want them to follow my motto, “Make wise decisions with the only life you have!”

What is a hobby nobody would guess you would have? I have become a massive soccer fan despite truly hating the sport growing up. When I moved to Dallas, I became a season ticket holder for FC Dallas. It is the first time I have ever had season tickets for anything.

If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be? Theodore Roosevelt - my favorite president and would make the night interesting! Pat Tillman - a person I greatly respect for his sacrifice, and he was truly a thinker. Alexander Hamilton - such an important part of our nation's beginning and a visionary.

Posted by Emma England in Upper School on Tuesday September 19, 2017 at 02:02PM
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Marcela Garcini: Upper School Spanish Teacher


What motivated and inspired you to teach? Having the ability to empower, transform, and changes lives has inspired me to teach. As teachers, we have the opportunity to discover, transform, guide, encourage, and develop incredible minds and souls. As I go to work every day, I think about how I can ignite one child's learning spark at a time, understanding that one size doesn't fit all.

What life lesson do you want students to learn in your classroom? To be humble and to understand different points of view – these are two life lessons that I want my students to learn. Anyone can learn a language, but to learn about other people's needs, problems, and experiences takes a special individual. I want my students to recognize their mistakes and their failures, taking full ownership of their responsibilities and obligations as young leaders in the classroom. Besides all of this, I try to teach my students to smile and to enjoy every single day of their lives. If you smile and you are happy with yourself, then you are ready to wake up every morning and face any challenge that life will throw at you.

What is a hobby that no one would guess you to have? I love to sit and listen to different sounds - especially the wind, the rain, birds and the ocean.

What is your favorite book? The House of the Spirits because I love the way that Isabel Allende writes.

Posted by Jamie Mitcham in Upper School on Tuesday August 29, 2017 at 03:35PM
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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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