Former Spartan editor loving life as a special needs teacher

Castleton alum Martina Marchese.

Martina Marchese graduated from Castleton State College in December 2013 with a communication degree concentrating in journalism.

But after her time at Castleton working on journalism, including a stint as editor of The Spartan, she reflected on her love for working with kids and decided to give teaching a shot.

Marchese caught up with The Spartan to tell us how things are going in life after college.

It’s her first-year teaching second grade special needs children in Pawling, New York.

“I’m loving it! I love my kids! I have five students all with different needs. It’s been really wonderful!” she said in a phone chat last week.

When asked about the life lessons Castleton has taught her that she’s still using today, she reflected on the teachers she had. Inspiration from those instructors has helped her in deciding that she wanted to be a teacher as well, she said.

And not only have her teachers inspired her, but a family history of teaching also played a part in her career choice.

“My mother has been a teacher for 30 years so it kind of runs in the family,” she said.

Marchese also described the best part about her job. She explained that the moment when a child finally understands what is being taught and they have an “ah-ha” moment it’s one of the best feelings. She defined the moment for herself as “oh my gosh I did that! I got through to you.”

Even though Marchese is happy with where she is in life, she still has ties to Castleton.

“I really do miss Castleton. I made quite a family of friends there,” she said.

But when jumping from the small town of Castleton to Pawling, she mentions that she grew up in a small town, so it wasn’t that big of a change for her.   

She also offered a piece of advice to students currently attending Castleton.

“I know it’s hard and there’s so many majors out there. You might not find your path right away while you’re in school, but at the end of the day, remember to follow your heart. Do whatever drives you to be a better person and makes you happy. You don’t want to be working for a paycheck, you want to work because it’s something you’re passionate about,” she said.

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