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DAISY ELLIOT/SAGAMORE STAFF

Alisa Dondero

Ms. Dondero is a 9th and 11th grade English teacher who teaches honors American Literature and Points of View. Prior to teaching at the high school, she taught at Andover Middle School for four years. In her free time she enjoys writing, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

What did you do this summer?

I did a lot of prepping, which is exciting. I love to come up with creative and different ways to represent texts. I also traveled to Hilton Head, South Carolina for a vacation. I was very excited to get the school year up and running. And so far, I am really loving it.

When you teach, is there always one thing you make sure to do for your students?

I really make an effort to try to seek a connection with students and interact with students. I try to understand the stresses you guys are under, and try as much as possible not to increase that stress too much. I want English to be something all of my students can enjoy, like I always did.

Was there a defining moment when you wanted to be an English teacher?

I always thought I’d be a good teacher. I played with journalism. I worked at a high power magazine in New York City. I toyed with the notion of being an actress, singing, songwriter route, but nothing resonated as much with me as working with children.

What experiences have you had as an English teacher?

I taught as an English teacher in the Republic of Georgia. It was an amazing experience. I taught 3rd to 12th grade. I did this after I graduated college. I really wanted to have an abroad experience, while doing something I loved. I also taught middle school in Andover for four years.

Tell me about your experience of teaching in Georgia:

It was wild, and unlike anything I had ever done. Very few people spoke English, so that was really interesting. I learned a whole other language: Georgian, so that was pretty crazy. I was sponsored by the Georgian Government. I am so appreciative that I had the opportunity to travel abroad there and teach. Until I really traveled, I never knew it was my thing, and now it’s something I really love doing.

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