MHS Welcomes Back a Familiar Face

Quinn Hurley, Writer

This school year Señorita Occhiogrosso replaces Señora Gotliffe as one of the Spanish teachers at MHS. However, this is not beginning of her MHS career. Señorita Occhiogrosso was once a student here, developing a passion for Spanish from Señora Gotliffe herself. Also her mother, Mrs. Occhiogrosso, was a very successful English teacher for years at Madison, and is now a beloved substitute teacher. Although she has traveled from college in Virginia to teaching in Spain, her connections to Madison have brought her back this year.

Madison Dodger Online (MDO): How has Madison changed? Are you excited to be back?

Senorita Occhiogrosso (SO): I’m definitely excited to be back. A lot has changed since I went here. The auxiliary gym, G hall science wing, the media center, and entrance by the gym are all new. Many of the teachers have changed, but some of them are the same. I had Mr. Grundfest, Mrs. Gabel, Senora Davis, and Senora Gotliffe. I also had Coach McKean and Chandler for gym, and Mr. Mueller for AP History. Mr. Connolly, the vice principal, was a gym teacher but I never had him. I also had my mom for my English teacher, which was a little weird.

MDO: How do your experiences in Spain affect the way you approach teaching?

SO: My favorite part of teaching Spanish is the culture. I like to talk about my experiences in Spain to make it more interesting and relatable, also bringing in souvenirs from my different travels. My experiences in teaching elementary school [Note: SO taught young children while teaching in Spain] I think are still present as I am always very energetic and animated while teaching.

MDO: What do you look forward to this year?

SO: I look forward to teaching the AP class with their progress towards the AP exam. Also to the school events, which will definitely bring back nostalgia from the high school days here. The school spirit was different when I was a student; there was no marching band but a pep band, a ton of dances like every month, and cheerleaders.

MDO: What classes are you teaching this year?

SO: AP Spanish, All 3 Honors Spanish 4 classes, and one class of the Spanish 3, which were all of Señora Gotliffe’s classes last year.