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Spotlight on Faculty

Exploration and Challenges - Dr. Stapanowich

I am a scientist and a teacher. I come from a family of teachers. I often say that teaching is the family business. Being a scientist fulfills my love of learning. I am now teaching my students material that was first introduced to me in college. (That gives you absolutely no indication about how old I am! My students are very advanced!) Science gives me the opportunity to explore a variety of topics that challenge me to convey that information to my students in a meaningful way.

My favorite part of teaching science is giving the students a chance to do hands-on work in the laboratory. The students read, study, work in small groups, but until they get their hands dirty, the material is just another abstraction or list of vocabulary words. Laboratory experiments require a different skill set than book work does. Here I see the quiet students taking the lead. Here is when the students make the connections that move their learning from basic to more advanced. Here is where the students apply the vocabulary and accomplish more in one bell than in several hours of study at home.

Teaching at Bishop Sullivan enables me to express my Catholic identity in ways not possible in other school settings. Not only am I a role model for academics, I am a role model for spiritual life. While those tasks seem daunting, the support of my fellow faculty members and the administration sustains me and propels me throughout the academic year. I count being a science teacher at Bishop Sullivan as three of my many blessings!

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