Roxi Giuliano (2010)

By Norma Richman

“Extended care is an opportunity to expand and enhance the cognitive, social, and emotional learning that takes place during the school day. One of the most important aspects of our program is teaching kids how to play respectfully, responsibly, and compassionately.”

My Brief Bio—

I attended Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy for high school and then UCLA (’18). At UCLA I studied Psychology, Anthropology, and the Study of Religions with a focus on Buddhism. After graduating I lived abroad for three years, first in Thailand, teaching English to 700 K-6 students in a town with no other English speakers. I then spent 2019-2021 in Nepal learning about Buddhism and starting a small art business featuring my mandala art. This adventure cemented my desire to pursue elementary education.

I returned to my hometown of Pasadena in May of 2021 and began my transition back into life stateside. My first week out of quarantine, I put on a professional outfit for the first time in years and walked into the front office of High Point, resumé in hand, ready to apply to work at the school where I spent nine of my most formative years. I soon began working as a student supervisor and was overjoyed to become the Eagle Club Director in only a few short months. I soon realized how much I like working with kids and aim to perhaps one day be a classroom teacher in the US.

My High Point Experience—

I attended grades K-8 at High Point, graduating in 2010. This school has always been special to me, but honestly I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated it as much as I do now looking back. High Point gave me a fantastic set of tools that led me to succeed in high school and college and beyond. I don’t know if I would have graduated summa cum laude with honors from UCLA if it hadn’t been for the skills I acquired at High Point. Prior to walking into the office to apply for a job, I had only returned once, and that was for our eighth grade reunion following high school graduation.

It has been a very enriching experience to be back at High Point as an adult. Now I am colleagues with some of my beloved past teachers, which is a “pinch myself” moment every day. So much about the school has stayed the same, even though there has also been beautiful progress. The campus looks even more idyllic now, and the resources for the students have continued to expand. At the core, however, is the value in the joy of learning. That, I foresee, will never change.

My Personal Observations and Reflections

I had such wonderful teachers at High Point; notably my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Sandy Geer, my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Amy Masserer (now my colleague), and my junior high English teacher, Mrs. Colleen Zeiss (also now my colleague). In fact, I’m honored to supervise the Zeiss children every day after school. It reminds me of my first time as a teaching assistant in the kindergarten and first grade classrooms. I had severely injured my wrist in the seventh grade, leaving me unable to do P.E. for the entirety of the year. The school arranged for me to visit the youngest students’ classrooms and read to them or help the teachers in their lessons. I absolutely loved this. It was my first experience bonding with younger kids and seeing that I could make a positive difference in their lives.

My passion for teaching began here and has never waned. In fact, HPA gave me the solid foundation in critical thinking, note-taking, test-taking, and academics to succeed, and I have truly used these skills from the moment I left HPA until the present day and my return as Director of Eagle Club—a newly re-envisioned program for the school.

Additional Thoughts—

Extended care is an opportunity to expand and enhance the cognitive, social, and emotional learning that takes place during the school day. One of the most important aspects of our new Eagle Club program is teaching kids how to play respectfully, responsibly, and compassionately. We facilitate this by actually having our supervisors play with the students, modeling for the kids how to compromise, care, and uplift each other. Our program is structured but flexible, with room to enjoy a variety of crafts, games, activities and more. We are so happy that we can offer ample opportunities for free play outdoors, as well. We take it as a great sign that so many students don’t want to leave when their parents arrive! Kids wanting to stay at school longer? We love it. We are looking forward to carrying the Eagle Club program into the future with more playing, learning, and growing together. Our extended care website is newly redesigned, featuring all of the information parents may need in a streamlined and organized format. We are also adding photos of our crafts and activities so that parents can see how their kids are enjoying their time with us.

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