Sixth Grade Homeroom Teacher
St. Hilary School sixth grade English and science teacher Miss Buzzi views her teaching approach and her classroom as tools to help students facilitate their educational journeys. “I think it is important not only to teach the facts and specific information, but to support the development of life-long learners,” she says. “Each day, I strive to provide a learning environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and testing their own theories. My classroom should be a starting point not the final destination.”
Miss Buzzi loves teaching and working with children because of the sense of wonder and awe new discoveries bring into their lives. “Each day I am reminded of something or learn something new myself,” she shares. “Every day is a new adventure.” Appropriately enough, her favorite subject areas to teach are Social Studies and Language Arts. Miss Buzzi explains that it is wonderful when there is an opportunity to integrate the content areas and use experiential learning to enhance understanding and the mastery of skills.
With over 25 years of experience in teaching and education, Miss Buzzi feels what sets St. Hilary School apart from others is that it provides a learning environment built on a rich history of success and faith. She notes that students and their families have made a commitment to each other and the broader community to be active participants in academic, sports, and faith based activities.
Miss Buzzi began her teaching career as a Head Start teacher prior to teaching in the Washington, DC public schools, where she became a demonstration and mentor teacher. While in Washington, she also wrote curriculum and grants, consulted on several literacy initiatives, and was awarded a National Faculty-Smithsonian Fellowship and a Middles States Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award. Later, she worked as the program director of a non-profit, working with the America Reads initiatives. After returning to Akron, she worked at the University of Akron’s College of Education as the Coordinator of Special Projects and an adjunct faculty member. She then returned to her first love, the classroom, and taught at Our Lady of the Elms prior to teaching at St. Hilary.
Armed with a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University, Miss Buzzi went on to earn a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s College of Education. She knows that the process of teaching and learning is ever-evolving for both instructors and students. “As an educator, I am continuing to learn new ways of engaging my students and utilizing new tools to teach,” she says. “I hope to one day finish my last four classes and earn my Ph.D. This year, I also hope to become a published author as a contributor to a book on teaching.” Miss Buzzi holds teaching licensure for Kindergarten through eighth grade. In addition, she is certified as a Responsive Classroom Instructor and an Ohio Resident Educator Mentor.
In the little spare time she has, Miss Buzzi enjoys reading, tailgating, and baking.
Sixth Grade Homeroom Teacher
St. Hilary School sixth grade reading and religion teacher Miss McMahon doesn’t just enjoy teaching her students, she is excited about learning from them, too. “I love getting to know the students,” she says. “Each class is so full of different personalities, which makes for a fun classroom. I love sharing my love for learning with students and seeing them get excited about learning, too!”
To help her students generate excitement, Miss McMahon makes reading and faith accessible and desirable to her students, and seeks to challenge them in ways they will find engaging and interesting. “I believe that you have to know something to truly love it,” she notes, “and that love builds on knowledge.” Incorporating Socratic dialogue, delving into Scripture, and promoting life-long reading habits, as well as emphasizing independent reading, helping students find books that will challenge and entertain them, and basing standards and activities around books students read are some of the ways Miss McMahon works to engage her students.
An alumna of St. Hilary School, Miss McMahon describes it as a wonderful school community. “I love how committed the teachers and parents are to promoting an academically challenging and faith-filled school environment,” she shares. She is very excited to teach religion “because it is God’s revelation to us.” She explains, “It is the greatest truth and the greatest mystery, and it invites us to a relationship with Christ and his Church. I love sharing my faith with my students.”
In addition to several years teaching sixth grade at St. Hilary, Miss McMahon has worked with students in a variety of settings from tutoring to student teaching for a number of years. She student taught in a third grade homeroom with a fourth grade math class, and completed a year-long internship in a fourth grade language arts and reading classroom. Prior to moving toward a career in education, Miss McMahon studied nursing for three years and has a science background, including completing a clinical rotation in pediatric nursing. She has also assisted with the St. Hilary Youth Ministry since she was in high school.
A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Miss McMahon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, with a minor in Biology. She has also completed a Reading Endorsement for grades K-12. She hopes to work toward a Master’s degree in either Middle School Education or Theology. The second oldest of six children, Miss McMahon enjoys singing, reading, running, youth ministry, and of course, teaching!
Sixth Grade Homeroom Teacher
Mrs. Spinner has been a teacher at St. Hilary School since 2003. She is currently teaching sixth grade math and social studies. She loves interacting with kids, especially one-on-one. “Their enthusiasm is contagious,” she says.
Being a member of the parish has special meaning for Mrs. Spinner, who enjoys watching her students grow from their baptisms through their final years at St. Hilary, and beyond. She believes the presence of the Catholic faith in everything at St. Hilary is important, and says it is amazing how spiritual her students are. “It is really great to know they have such meaningful prayer lives,” says Mrs. Spinner. She enjoys being able to relate back to the Catholic faith in all subject areas.
A graduate of Ashland University and Kent State University, Mrs. Spinner holds a bachelor of arts degree in radio and television, and a master of arts degree in teaching. Married with three children, a son who attends the University of Dayton, another son who attends The Ohio State University, and a daughter at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, all three of Mrs. Spinner's children are proud graduates of St. Hilary School! Mrs. Spinner enjoys reading, walking, cooking, and spending time with her family, including attending events in which her children participate.