Meet the New Teachers: Mr. DeMarte
Question from The Anchor: Where did you grow up?
Mr. DeMarte: I grew up in Plattsburgh, New York, which is the place at the dot where Canada, Vermont and New York intersect. It is actually 45 minutes from Montreal, but in New York state.
Where did you go to college?
I did my undergrad at Siena College in Loudonville, New York, near Albany. I majored in chemistry there. I was lucky enough to do research for four years and get to present in the National Chemistry Conference in a couple of times, which was pretty cool. And then I did my grad school at Clarkson University and that was specifically for teaching chemistry to high school students.
Did you teach in other schools before Severn?
Yes, I taught in a public school in the capital region for short period of time, and then I also worked at a boarding school in New York before coming to Severn.
How do the schools where you taught before compare to Severn?
They have similar philosophies, but at the boarding school, everybody lives there, which is a little different.
What drove you from New York to the capital area?
My first school was a temporary position, and in my search of schools, I came across Severn. I really liked the philosophy of the school: every student known and valued. Once I got to see the Severn, I just wanted to come here. I feel lucky to have the opportunity [to teach here]. But initially I had zero interest in moving to Maryland; it wasn’t until I found Severn that we decided to come here.
From the first month of teaching experience here, what is your impression of the students?
I really enjoy it here. I think Severn is great to be in a place where the students want to be here. They are focused, they want to do well, they enjoy being here. It is not just a chore or a checklist to get things done. All the other teachers are great and have really helped me also.
What made you decide to be a chemistry teacher?
Before I went back to my grad school for teaching, I was a full-time hockey referee for a few years after college. I also have my medical massage license, and I ran my own practice for a few years. I was doing that and kind of realized that it wasn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life. So I sat down and looked. I really enjoyed helping people understand things, watching those light bulbs go off. Having the opportunity to do that on a daily basis with students is great, and I loved chemistry when I was in college. Chemistry seemed like a good fit.
What do you usually do when you are not teaching?
[Laughs] Grading at home. My wife and I have two dogs, so we spend a lot of time just getting them out of the house. We love seeing zoos, and this summer we did a lot of travelling around the country. We went to the zoo in DC, we went to the zoo in Knoxville, Tennessee, and we also spent some time in Alabama. So, we do a lot of travelling when we have time, camping and being outside with the dogs.
Do you run any club?
I’m not formally advising a club, but I have been going to the Umbrella club, and I am excited for that. The mission of Umbrella club is something personally close to me, and so I’m excited to get involved with the inclusion clubs. I think I am going to do track in the spring and I have been to pretty much every home soccer game for boys and girls Varsity and JV teams. I played soccer when I was in high school. If I hadn’t played hockey in college, I would’ve played soccer.