7 Questions with Rosa Speranza – Dean of Students Year 11

What inspires you as a teacher?

For a good deal of my life, I have been one who has been formed and inspired by the charism of the Sisters of Mercy and it is with some excitement that I share their story of commitment, courage and tenacity with students at Santa Maria College.  I find the originating story of the founding sisters inspirational and make every effort to echo their ministry of Mercy and Service in my interactions with students and involvement in projects of a social justice nature.

What part of the school years is most exciting/challenging for you?

I have always loved the beginning of the school year!  I look forward to companioning my students as they discern their role in living and breathing as a spirit-filled community of learners and building better relationships with each other along the way. At the heart of this early experience in relationship is the necessity to grow in understanding of the story that each member of the community brings to the College; stories that are forged from their family history and that give impulse to their aspiration to build a better world and weave purpose and direction into their future. It is such a privilege to be in the company of young people at this very significant time in their lives.

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen in education over the years?

Over my 30 years in Catholic Education the context of today’s students having so many opportunities to explore learning as global citizens still astounds me . I have had the good fortune of accompanying many student groups on international tours, pilgrimages, sporting tournaments and immersions and have loved every moment. Experiential learning is the educational principle that underpins these valuable excursions and I believe learning is as much about doing as it is about thinking. Face-to-face encounters that build relationship can greatly assist students’ comprehension of matters such as human dignity, truth and justice.

What other schools have you taught at?

Believe it or not, I began my teaching career here at Santa Maria College over 30 years ago  and it really is a privilege today to teach the daughters of my first students in 1985.  I have since taught at Servite College, Ursula Frayne Catholic College and more recently Mercedes College. There is a wonderful feeling of  ‘coming home’ being back at Santa Maria College.

What is something not many people know about you?

A week after marrying my husband Hollis Wilson in the Chapel here at the College, I moved to the US and lived in Cleveland, Ohio for three years. I worked as a Conference Planner and my work culminated in a four-day conference for 4000 people over the 4th of July weekend of 1994.

What do you do to relax?

I am secretly a Netflix junkie and enjoy watching some of my favourite series with my daughters on the couch in our pjs.

What is your favourite quote?

“You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right!”  Aung San Suu Kyi

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