Great Falls Greetings

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    • #31720

      Hello again old Zoom buddies, and welcome new members. My name is Mary Dea (pronounced day), and I am honored to be a part of this select group.

      A little about my life in the Falls…I have been married for almost 8 years – no I am not young, but that is a story for another time. My husband Jim and I share 6 adult children and 1 grandson together and we LOVE it! All of our kiddos will once again live in Montana come June when our one stray returns from living in Seattle for a couple of years. We became empty-nesters after COVID and found ourselves living in a 6 bedroom, 6 bath house on three acres – too much for two people! In April of last year, we sold the “big house,” as I call it, and moved into one of our duplexes in town. I must say I am enjoying the duplex life! I am within walking distance of the high school I teach at, CVS, Crumble Cookie and Target. What more could a girl ask for? My puppy enjoys walking in town as well despite being tormented by those nasty squirrels. My puppy, Lola, is a cuddly Bernedoodle that embodies joy and tranquility. She was my COVID puppy and she truly is the best dog I have ever owned.

      I currently teach freshmen honors English and AP English. This was my first year with AP and I did not enjoy it. I enjoyed the students, just didn’t like not knowing what I was doing. I look forward to the summer to do some in depth planning for next year’s class. I just resigned my position as head of the English department, and I am looking forward to having time to pursue some of my other interests, namely Shakespeare and the Holocaust. .

      In 2017 I attended my first TOLI satellite seminar in Billings, MT and it lit a fire in me. Since then, I have been striving to incorporate holocaust literature into my freshman English classroom. I was also able to work with a history teacher to bring a survivor to speak to schools in our district right before COVID. Additionally, I offered a PD class for other educators where I shared information about TOLI, Echoes and Reflections, and other resources. My affiliation with this amazing group has given me opportunities to connect with other organizations like Defiant Requiem which I hope to partner with for a cross curricular Indian Education project in the near future.

      The end of my school year is rapidly approaching, and I find myself frazzled. Several bright lights at the end of this stressful tunnel include getting on the river in our pontoon boat, hiking in Glacier, and of course the trip to NYC for the opportunity to do some great work with great people.

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