Christina Perricone, BA Education, McGuire Scholar
Christina Perricone's St. Francis education has prepared her to fulfill her dream of being an educator herself.
Christina is wrapping up her St. Francis College career prepared to earn her Master's degree in Education from Hunter College in fall. The academic stand-out was on the Dean's list all her years at St. Francis. She also received a McGuire scholarship, providing her the financial support necessary to cover all her tuition costs.
Christina recently looked back on her time at St. Francis and what's ahead.
How did you decide to attend St. Francis College?
Coming from a large high school, I wanted to attend a college that had small classes.
One of my teachers in Fort Hamilton High School [in Brooklyn], an English teacher, recommended St. Francis College. He had wanted to go there, but he wasn't able to. I looked into it and I heard that it has a great reputation: the small college of big dreams. I wanted to go somewhere where I had the opportunity to build relationships with my professors and just to be able to have that support system when you need one. And that was something that I got.
I wanted to do something where I was able to work with children. But more specifically, I just love seeing growth in others. Being able to make a difference in people's lives is just very rewarding.
Is there a class that stands out to you?
I took a writing class with Dr. [Marina] Gair, who's the Education Department chairperson. We wrote a children's book, and at the end of the course we had the chance to showcase the book in an event called Author's Chair. We read it in front of our parents, our friends, family, and St. Francis staff. That was something that stood out to me and I'll be able to take with me one day in my own classroom.
How was your experience as a student teacher this year?
It was amazing experience. It wasn't what I expected going in because, of course, I expected to spend the whole time in the classroom. But I think that the way it turned out, it honestly helped me grow even more as a teacher, just being able to adapt to my surroundings.
I was in a second-grade class in a school in Bay Ridge, P.S. 170. The teacher's class was a self-contained ESL [English as a second language] class. I was able to attend remote learning with the class this spring. I was constantly in Google Classroom, posting assignments.
Just being in that class allowed me to realize that's what I what I wanted to master in. I recently got accepted into Hunter College for a master's program.
What was the support you received at St. Francis during your student teaching?
My student teaching supervisor was Dr. [Derek] Glaaser. He was so supportive throughout the process. Anything we needed, he was always there to help. It was just amazing.
How was it for you being remote from St. Francis College for the last few weeks of the academic year?
The department worked with us every step of the way. We're supposed to meet with our supervisors about three times. We managed to do those meetings on Zoom, so we still had the same support. I was always communicating with St. Francis: Dr. Gair, Professor Diane Haussermann. They were constantly updating us and keeping us positive because no one really knew what the requirements were going to be or what would change for us. But they always kept us positive. If we would reach out to them, they would get back to us within an hour. If we needed to call them, we could call them anytime. The support that they gave was just so reassuring throughout this experience.
Speaking to other people in other schools who are also majoring in education, I know that the experience with St. Francis was so different.
What do you envision for your career?
Ultimately, I want to be in a classroom environment, teaching English as a second language. Also, I hope to one day be able to give back, maybe by teaching teachers at St. Francis College.