Advanced Math Teacher/Math Enrichment
“One of my favorite things about teaching is being able to witness the moment of acknowledgment and understanding among my students,” says St. Hilary School Advanced Math Teacher and Math Tutor, Mrs. Heuer. She notes that she feels privileged to work with a variety of students at different grade levels in the area of mathematics. In advanced math, Mrs. Heuer always wants to make sure her students are being challenged to the fullest extent of their capability. She also believes strongly that students should have an active role in the learning process. "It is one of my personal goals to make math class a fun and engaging environment with the help of more digital tools and resources, and by helping my students to make more connections between math and the real world," she says.
Mrs. Heuer believes the strong faith aspect and high academic expectations are key points in a St. Hilary education. She says that after attending Catholic schools through high school, it is exciting to be able to reenter that environment and give back as a teacher. She feels that St. Hilary sets high standards for learning, while modeling a strong center for students and teachers to grow both spiritually and mentally.
A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Mrs. Heuer holds a bachelor of science degree in education in Integrated Mathematics. She also has a master of arts degree in Instructional Technology with an endorsement in Technology Facilitation from the University of Akron. She says she holds high expectations for herself as well as her students, and believes she can learn from them as they learn from her.
Drawing out the creativity in St. Hilary School students has been Mrs. Metzger’s job since 2000. “I try to make art not be intimidating, and to make it enjoyable for my students,” she says of her job as art teacher. She says she enjoys using creativity in working with students, and helping them see the world in a new way. “I enjoy watching them change in their abilities, self-esteem and awareness, and seeing them grow emotionally,” she says.
Two of Mrs. Metzger’s favorite areas to teach in her art classes are drawing and ceramics. She enjoys drawing and working with clay, and loves sharing that enjoyment with her students.
Mrs. Metzger also loves having the ability to share her faith with the children she teaches. “I like to bring an appreciation of the Catholic faith into the art studio,” she says. She feels St. Hilary teachers are fortunate to be able to include Catholic doctrine and the practice of faith in their teaching. “I feel very blessed to be here at St. Hilary,” she says.
The fact that St. Hilary is a family-oriented environment differentiates it from other schools, according to Mrs. Metzger. In addition, she says faculty members are caring and work well together. “The students feel safe and happy here,” she says.
Among her most memorable St. Hilary experiences have been creating the sets for school plays and working with students in art club. Mrs. Metzger says she has also enjoyed having a representative from the Akron Art Museum join her sixth grade students for a week to assist them in completing an art project.
A graduate of Ohio State University, Mrs. Metzger holds a bachelor of arts degree in art education. She hails from Columbus, and likes to visit her family there whenever she can. She also enjoys reading and spending time at art museums and galleries. An animal lover, Mrs. Metzger has four cats and two dogs, who frequently accompany her on walks.
Adding to our students’ opportunities to be global learners is our Chinese teacher, Mrs. Shu. “I love Chinese culture and teaching Chinese gives me chances to share it with others,” she says. “Teaching brings new faces and new personalities that I have the privilege to interact with. They are young, have boundless energy, and provide me with energy and a smile when I share my knowledge with them.” Mrs. Shu infuses fun into her lessons through dramatic role playing, games, sports and learning expressions, Internet research, and interaction with their classmates. She also enjoys working together with other teachers and learning from their instructional techniques. Setting St. Hilary School apart from other schools in her eyes are the highly qualified teaching staff and its excellent reputation among schools in the area.
Mrs. Shu holds a bachelor’s degrees from a university in China. A native of mainland China, she enjoys cooking Chinese food, playing ping pong tennis, and playing Chinese chess. “I speak Chinese as soon as I step into my home,” she notes. “I will try to speak Chinese as soon as I step into my classroom at St. Hilary School.”
Sister Carol Joy Cincerelli, H.M.
When Sister Carol Joy came to St. Hilary School in 1995, she brought with her a brand new program based upon the arts. She created the class specifically for St. Hilary, and called it “enrichment”. Sister Carol Joy enjoys using music, literature, painting, sculpture, drama, and other forms of expression to teach students in kindergarten through fifth grade about the arts and the people who create them. A large component of the program is its focus on drawing out the creativity in students, and teaching them to express themselves in various artistic ways. The works the students study become the foundation for their own creative expression.
Sister Carol Joy describes her class as “a gifted program, but one that appeals to and is available to all children, not just the very bright.” She says that St. Hilary students have a good foundation to build on, which makes it a delight to introduce them to the subjects she presents in her enrichment classes. “I enjoy enriching their lives,” says Sister Carol Joy of her students and her passion for immersing them in creativity. She also cherishes her ability and that of her co-workers to infuse subjects with Catholic beliefs. “We must not only touch people’s minds, but we must also touch their hearts in order to truly teach them,” says Sister Carol Joy. In her 45 years as a teacher, Sister Carol Joy has touched many lives. She says she taught about a third of current St. Hilary parents when they were second graders, and now “sees them” in their children, who are her students today.
A graduate of St. John College of Cleveland, Siena Heights College and Lake Erie College, Sister Carol Joy holds a bachelor of science degree in education, a bachelor of arts degree in art, and a master of science degree in gifted education. She has completed coursework beyond her master’s degree, as well. Having published 16 books on art as it relates to literature, learning, religion, and other topics, Sister Carol Joy is a regular presenter on these subjects at schools in Ohio and elsewhere. In addition to teaching elementary school children, Sister Carol Joy has taught at the college level and frequently leads workshops and in-services for other teachers. She has been a speaker for Ohio’s Right to Read program, and is a recurrent storyteller for Borders Bookstores.
Sister Carol Joy was named the Akron Creative Woman of the Year in 1996, and has received numerous grants for her work. She was named a Teacher of The Year by the Diocese of Cleveland in 2006. A native of Ashtabula, Sister Carol Joy loves to paint and write.
The daily interaction with her students is what French teacher Mrs. Six enjoys most about teaching. A veteran high school French teacher for 34 years prior to coming to St. Hilary in 2010, Mrs. Six has also taught Algebra I, but French is her first love. "Learning French should be fun!" she says. "We study the French language and culture, sample French foods, sing songs, and play games."
Mrs. Six notes that wonderful students, supportive parents, small classes and uniforms set St. Hilary School apart from other schools. She says, "I love the uniforms!"
Mrs. Six holds a bachelor of arts degree in Secondary Education (French / Mathematics) and a master of arts degree in Secondary Education, both from the University of Akron. Married for 34 years, Mrs. Six and her husband, a structural engineer at Babcock & Wilcox in Barberton, have two adult children. Mrs. Six loves animals and enjoys traveling.
“Teaching music is not a job,” says Mrs. Toth. “It is my vocation and my life.” Since 1987, Mrs. Toth has broadened the musical horizons of her students at St. Hilary School. “I try to see each child for who they are when they come to me, and try to advance them to what they can achieve,” she says. Although singing is her favorite area, she incorporates a lot of instrument playing in her lessons. Third graders spend the entire school year learning to play the recorder, for example, and cap the year with a recital presented to their parents.
Mrs. Toth enjoys teaching because every day is different, and there is always the possibility for good things to happen. St. Hilary students are special, she feels, because they have expanded opportunities and are blessed with a great deal of talent. She says their educational experience is richer because they are exposed to many activities and experiences outside school that they can bring with them to share with their classmates.
Among the things Mrs. Toth feels set St. Hilary apart from other schools are its high level of parent and teacher involvement, and the numerous extracurricular activities offered to students. She also feels fortunate to have many tools to incorporate into her teaching, such as books, CDs, instruments, and even a synthesizer/sequencer. “We are blessed to have a theater and art fund in our parish foundation that helps to support our music program,” she says.
In addition to her work as the St. Hilary music teacher, Mrs. Toth also serves as the music director for the school’s spring musical each year. Her most memorable experience was the 1998 performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. “The kids were fantastic, and the show was phenomenal,” she says, adding that each year brings a new crop of talent and an exciting show to present.
A graduate of Kent State University, Mrs. Toth holds a bachelor’s degree in music education. Married for over twenty years, Mrs. Toth has three sons, all of whom attended St. Hilary School and Catholic high schools. Mrs. Toth enjoys music, reading, theater, and musicals.
Physical Education Teacher
Helping her students find a life-long activity they can become interested in is the goal of St. Hilary School physical education teacher, Mrs. Stamets. “I want them to get interested in being active and find something they can enjoy for the rest of their lives,” she says. Mrs. Stamets says her classes are not about seeing who is the most skilled in an activity. “Grades are based on the level of effort, participation and sportsmanship students put forth,” she says.
Mrs. Stamets enjoys teaching because she loves to see the joy her students find in what they are doing in class. “It is exciting to turn them on to new things,” she says. She tells of a time she was introducing the basics of golf to one of her classes, and met with some opposition from a group of boys. The next school year, that same group of boys asked her when they could learn about golf again, because they had really enjoyed it once they tried it.
Having the ability to talk about faith and incorporate it into her lessons is important to Mrs. Stamets. She says she feels blessed to work in what she describes as “the best gym facility in the area”. She is also grateful to work in a school that offers the ability and has the resources to try different things.
Many memories from her years as a teacher stand out in Mrs. Stamets’ mind. She recalls the warm welcome she received from her co-workers when she joined the St. Hilary faculty in 1999. One vivid memory Mrs. Stamets relates is of helping a special needs child learn to skip, and the joy both she and the child experienced when they achieved their goal.
A graduate of the University of Akron, Mrs. Stamets holds a bachelor of science degree in education. Prior to becoming a physical education teacher, she taught ballet for 17 years. Married for more than 25 years, she has two children who have attended Catholic schools through high school. Mrs. Stamets enjoys watching her children’s sporting events, as well as walking and biking.
Seeing her students learn and grow academically, spiritually and in character is one of the things St. Hilary Spanish teacher Mrs. Schwarz most enjoys about teaching. She loves seeing her students’ horizons broadened to develop a better understanding of people and things outside their own world. In her classes, students speak Spanish rather than English as much as possible, and are encouraged to continue to do so outside of class. Mrs. Schwarz makes her lessons lively by including the study of Spanish culture, music, food, and daily life, in addition to the language itself.
Mrs. Schwarz enjoys the opportunity to teach scripture and faith in addition to Spanish at St. Hilary. She feels this, as well as high expectations and standards set for the students, differentiates St. Hilary from other schools.
A graduate of the University of Akron, Mrs. Schwarz has a bachelor of arts degree in social work and is licensed to teach Spanish to grades K-12. Prior to teaching, she worked for the judicial system as a pretrial services officer. She also teaches junior high-aged girls at her church. Married with two children, Mrs. Schwarz enjoys reading, especially Spanish novels, walking, knitting, and crocheting.
Technology Teacher and Librarian
As the school library media specialist, Mrs. Slanina is eager to share with her students the latest technology information she has acquired. A recent student of technology herself, Mrs. Slanina graduated in May, 2012 with a master of education degree in instructional technology with a library / media focus. “I bring up-to-date information directly from my master’s coursework to my technology classroom,” she says.
Mrs. Slanina believes engaged and caring families and dedicated, bright students distinguish St. Hilary from other schools. As the product of 16 years of Catholic education herself (elementary, high school, and college), she truly believes in the value of a Catholic education and that is why she chooses to be here. She says, "I think back to the many teachers who have been role models in my life, and believe this is a way I can give something back to the next generation."
Mrs. Slanina holds a bachelor of arts degree in English/communications from John Carroll University, a master of library and information science from Kent State University, and a master of education with an instructional technology focus. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mrs. Slanina worked for about ten years in various marketing and communications positions.
Mrs. Slanina and her husband have three young children. Two of her children currently attend St. Hilary School. In her spare time, she enjoys running and reading.
“I believe technology instruction is no longer a luxury in schools,” says St. Hilary School technology teacher Mrs. Weber. “Learning computer skills has become as essential as mastering the traditional core subjects.” Admittedly amazed at how quickly technology has evolved, Mrs. Weber remembers her own initial exposure to computers the size of an entire room and floppy disks the size of phonograph records. Teaching technology at St. Hilary School for four years, Mrs. Weber has been employed at the school in other capacities since 1998. Her background as a kindergarten teaching assistant makes her especially well-suited to the grade levels she teaches.
From dismantling a hard drive and investigating its components to creating a Power Point presentation, Mrs. Weber’s students are well-versed in technology by virtue of her classes. Because she feels computer skills have become basic life skills, she is dedicated to preparing her students for their future education, a career, and life in the real world. “It is my job to give them the tools they need now, so they won’t be at a disadvantage later,” she says. She feels fortunate to work at a school where a commitment to technology education has been made.
A graduate of the University of Akron, Mrs. Weber holds bachelor of science degrees in both biology and chemistry, and has completed two years toward a bachelor’s degree in education. Herself a product of St. Hilary School, Mrs. Weber has been married to her “high school sweetheart” for over 30 years. Two of her three adult children attended St. Hilary, and one daughter is now a Catholic school teacher. Mrs. Weber enjoys reading and furthering her knowledge of technology through online classes.