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  • Sophia Barsoian '26

SI's Newest Faculty: How Have They Grown?

Hello Wildcats! For this month’s issue, we decided to interview our newest additions to SI’s school faculty. We asked our newest English teachers how their time here at SI has been so far and how they’ve grown as a person since working here. Here are their responses:


 
Mr. Taxis

I’m Mr. Taxis — but some cross country runners call me Coach Noah. I teach junior and senior English: American Lit and Film. I’m from a small town named Ukiah, a few hours north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Mendocino County. Working at SI has been fun! I’ve been really struck by the community here — both amongst the teachers and, of course, within the student body. As I’m sure many people have said before (and many more will say after me), the spirit here is infectious! Speaking as a relative newcomer, there’s a real vitality in the air here that’s palpable. Whenever I have opened up and been vulnerable with my students and colleagues this year, I have been rewarded with the greatest personal growth. Because of this, I hope to create more opportunities for my students and colleagues to open up with and around me too: to be fully themselves in the name of creating a greater shared sense of trust and mutual understanding.

 
Mr. Mangan

My name is Mr. Mangan, and I teach junior and freshman English at SI. I am from San Francisco (Mission District) and went to SI myself! My time at SI so far has been great. It’s a community I am familiar with, having gone here as a student, and my role now as a teacher offers me a whole new perspective. Students teach me new things every day, and the faculty, staff, and administration have all been incredibly welcoming and helpful. Listening and making learning an active – even fun – experience are a few areas I’d like to think I've grown in as a teacher. When I was a student at SI, I had great teachers who made learning engaging. I now hope to do the same. Coming full circle – from one time student to now teacher – also reminds me that learning, when it’s right, is continuous…(just like a circle).

 
Ms. Horner

So far my time at SI has been very rewarding. My classes have been full of students who are excited to be in the classroom and dive into deeper themes and ideas presented in our texts. I also love to see all of my students' involvement in various extracurricular activities outside of the classroom. In my time at SI, I have grown in my faith. Growing up, religion was always a value of mine, but I felt myself lose touch of it in college. The various prayer services offered at SI have allowed me time and space to be grounded in my thoughts as well as provided me the opportunity to hear the voices of our SI students involved in ministry. Additionally, I feel as though I have grown in my teaching craft thanks to the amazing English department and especially my mentor teacher, Ms. Moraine. She has helped me grow in the classroom and has provided countless resources and ideas for the freshman curriculum. She is willing to answer any question at any time, and I am so grateful for that. She has really helped me with my transition to the SI community.

 
Mr. Schwager

My time at SI so far has been dynamic. The fall feels like it was only a few short weeks ago, and I'm still wrapping my head around this school year coming to end in the next few months. Last year marked my first year teaching, where I taught in SFUSD. Coming to SI was walking through a wormhole from public to private schooling. I felt like a new cog in a very well oiled machine, something immense and with history, the equivalent to brass Big Ben gears and the braided ropes of Notre Dame bell tower mechanisms. It was an intimidating and exciting space to enter, full of the best challenges and learning moments. I had come to SI with only one year of teaching experience, but sometimes I felt as though (in a way) I was arriving with five years of experience squeezed into 180 days. Teaching class sizes of 40+ students is a great teacher unto itself. However, the gap between August-Schwager and March-Schwager is something I could not have achieved without the support of my colleagues. Everyone deserves a team, a coach, a colleague, or friend to support them grow. I'm grateful for my renewed sense of community and collaboration from my first year at SI.

 
Mr. Rougely

My name is Mr. Nick Rougely and I am a new English teacher here at SI teaching freshmen (100) and juniors (300). The "yall" is intentional as I am from Texas! Things I love: fashion (students say drip?), dancing, movies, writing, gaming, and all things sports related. I’m also really interested in spoken word poetry. We tried to get it started at SI last semester, and I’m hoping we can try again next year. My time at SI has been pretty great so far. I use the phrase "drinking from a fire hydrant" to describe my first semester! Things have slowed down now and my students are pretty incredible. I couldn't have asked for a better set to start off my time at SI. I transitioned from [a] higher education so I had to adapt, but also utilize those skills to show students what college will be like in just a few years! I had dreamed of being a teacher for years—it felt like what I was supposed to do, so to get this opportunity at SI was so exciting. Honestly, the biggest way I've grown is being kind to myself. I can be a calm, low-key, and caring teacher, and that is okay. My style works here and the students respond to being able to be themselves and being in a classroom where every voice is respected and welcome. Turns out being yourself is enough, which is what I try to pass on to my students. I'm just out here trying to make literature cool again.

 

Sophia Barsoian '26 is a Vol. 71 Contributing Editor


Reflections on Club Growth

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