Middle School Language Arts Teacher
On any given evening, eighth and ninth grade English teacher Rosie Sansalone might be seen driving around town in a British-racing-green Mini Cooper with a license plate that sums up her outlook on life: SO ROSIE.
Like the subject she teaches, Ms. Sansalone is a classic. She eschews the Kindle, social networking sites and television. Her most-used book is a tattered 1934 edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary because it uses pre-schwa pronunciation marks. If she could invent one thing to solve a problem in the world, it would be a universal “off” button to power down cellphones, iPods, computers and video games so her kids would talk to each other face-to-face. “To be able to have a cup of coffee with a friend is so much more rewarding than Facebooking your friend.”
Learning about the classics in literature helps students better express themselves, says Ms. Sansalone. The classics also render lessons in character for 15-year-olds who are inclined to go along with the crowd. Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” models integrity. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel demonstrates perseverance in his memoir “Night.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince” shows the importance of seeing people “with your heart” instead of making snap judgments. Ms. Sansalone understands why young girls are infatuated with the contemporary “Twilight” series but warns they may have a tough time in real life “once they realize no man will ever compare to Edward Cullen.”
Ms. Sansalone brings a Holocaust survivor to school to talk to eighth graders the day before they leave for their annual Washington D.C. trip where they visit the Holocaust Museum. The Holocaust is an important reminder of why students need to think about who they want to be as people, she says. “When everything is stripped from you all you have is your character and your integrity.”
“I teach my students that valuable lesson — the importance of using the English language effectively, but more so, I use the classroom as a way to teach them the importance of becoming fine individuals of integrity.”
Teaches 8th and 9th grade English; coaches Power of the Pen (one of her eighth graders won first in state last year); directs the 8th grade play; chaperones the 8th grade field trip to Washington D.C.; helped publish two student books., “Faded Secrets: The Summit Writers’ Project” and “Knights’ Tales: The Summit Writers’ Project.” Began Summit in 2006-07. Taught nine years prior. B.A.,Washington University. M.A, St. Louis University.
Daughter Catherine is a Summit student. Daughters Alix, an ’08 Summit grad, attends Acadia University in Nova Scotia and Maria, an ’09 grad, attends the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Runs two to three miles a day before school. Has been to London three times. Two sisters attended The Summit and her aunt, Sister Stella Marie, taught high school math here. Her favorite word is “so” when it is used as an adverb of degree because she considers the word “very” to be so overused. That’s why her license plate says “SO ROSIE.”