Marsuelle Marasas Teacher, Tilden Career Community Academy

Umoja is fortunate to work in partnership with many teachers, principals and other school administrators who are dedicated to empowering students through education.

Marsuelle Marasas embodies not only dedication but also a unique devotion to working with students. It’s no surprise how dedicated she is to helping students when it’s the students themselves who drive her passion for teaching. She shares, “It fuels me to know that I could maybe help 1, 2, 3, maybe 80 students.”

Ms. Marasas considers Tilden Career Academy her second home. She’s been a teacher there for twelve years, the length of her overall teaching career! Originally, the Tilden teacher was thinking of pursuing a career in nursing because of her deep desire to help others. She reflects, “But then I had a moment where I remembered one particular teacher in high school who went out of her way to make sure I graduated and thought I could be that person to other students, so I shifted my career path to teaching.”

This year marks the second year of implementing Umoja’s Senior Seminar Curriculum which is led by Ms. Marasas and Kate Pressler, Umoja’s Partnership Specialist at Tilden. One aspect of Umoja’s work that Ms. Marasas dearly values is the collaboration on the post-secondary curriculum. She expresses, “I haven’t taught seniors in years so having Kate as a partner to help bounce off ideas was helpful. She literally is hands on when working with students acting as a support system.” Ms. Marasas received additional seminar support this summer by attending her first Umoja University, our week long professional development conference for teachers and school administrators. She specifically enjoyed the afternoon planning sessions where all senior seminar teachers came together to discuss which lessons worked well for their students and how they adapted the lessons to fit their needs. In thinking about the new school year, Ms. Marasas is looking forward to implementing Senior Seminar again this year with a new set of seniors, the class of 2015.