Q and A with Ms. Valauskas

By Ella Borkowski

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: Guilford, CT

Q: Why did you choose to teach at BHS?

A: I have always heard great things about BHS, and feel very lucky to have been given an opportunity to teach here. It is a school unlike many others where the atmosphere is one of mutual respect between students and teachers and it is a place where students are given freedom that others in surrounding towns are not.

Q: Have you ever taught anywhere other than Branford High School? Where?

A: I taught for four years at Lauralton Hall in Milford, CT, and then spent two years teaching at the Bronx Zoo in NY.

Q: What do you teach?

A: Lauralton Hall: Biology, Env. Science Zoo: I traveled both nationally and internationally teaching teachers how to incorporate conservation education in their classrooms, taught courses in science education at Brooklyn College, The College of New Rochelle, Queens College, and Fordham University. Internationally I did capacity building work with communities focusing on their native habitats and teaching them ways to conserve them and educate people about their importance.

Q: What do you think makes BHS different than other high schools you have worked at?

A: There is a relationship between adults and students here that I haven’t seen elsewhere. It makes for a really nice environment to come to every day.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs, or bands? What do you do for fun?

A: I play, sing and write songs for a band based out of New Haven. We have one cd out and another on the way in October. Music has always been a huge part of my life, and I feel really lucky to be able to teach and play music on the side. I also enjoy yoga and being outdoors as much as possible.

Q: Why did you choose to be a teacher?

A: I sort of fell into teaching by mistake. I took a long-term sub position to make some extra money when I finished school and found out that I loved it.

Q: What makes teaching so rewarding?

A: I think what makes it so rewarding is that I learn so much on a daily basis from my students, and also get to share my love of science with them, with the hopes that some of it might rub off on them.

Q: Have you ever held a different job than being teacher?

A: I worked on a farm and at an environmental education center just out of college, I still waitress one night a week and I did some animal training at the zoo.

Q: Why did you choose to teach at a high school level?

A: Despite what everyone thinks, high school students are fun!!!!!!!!!!

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