10 Years Later: From Marist Graduate to Teacher

An Interview with Mrs. Katherine Bain Carroll ’10

Mrs.+Carroll+visiting+Oxford%2C+England%2C+in+2019+with+her+husband+Mr.+Mike+Carroll%2C+also+a+Marist+teacher.

Mr. Carroll

Mrs. Carroll visiting Oxford, England, in 2019 with her husband Mr. Mike Carroll, also a Marist teacher.

Christian Conte, Junior Managing Editor

 

Mrs. Carroll receives her diploma from then Marist Principal Joel Konzen in 2010.

 

10 years ago, a Marist senior walked across the stage, received her diploma, and graduated Marist in the Class of 2010. After graduating Elon University in 2014, she returned to Marist School, now as a faculty member. Currently, she teaches English courses and moderates the Antioch retreat and the Peer Leader program. Meet Mrs. Katherine Carroll ’10

One decade later, Mrs. Carroll is now in her sixth year as a Marist faculty member. Returning to her alma mater to teach, I decided to sit down and chat with Mrs. Carroll about her journey and experience at Marist throughout the years. Enjoy!

*****

Christian Conte: So, you graduated Marist in 2010, correct?

Mrs. Katherine Carroll: Yes, yes I did.

CC: Okay, so transitioning from a student to teacher, what are some things that have changed on campus? That could be new teachers, buildings, cafeteria food, whatever.

KC: Yeah, I do think physically the school has changed the most. The first year of Ivy Street Center was the first year of my teaching career here, too, so that obviously has been quite the change. And then I feel like technology has been a change as well both in the classroom – obviously we did not have laptops in class when I was here – and then just the other components as well, whether that’s new projectors in the classroom or the computer labs (the whole downstairs library looks very different than it used to). Yeah, I would say those are probably the most different physically and definitely Ivy Street Center. Otherwise, everything else has stayed the same. And the inside of Chanel – that was all revamped since I was back as a teacher.

CC: Anything like traditions or less physical things that have changed like the maybe vibe of campus or the student body?

KC: I feel like that is what has most stayed the same. There are certain things when you look around where you’re like, “this could’ve been 10 years ago; this could’ve been 5 years ago.” There are some specific traditions that have stayed the same like St. Peter Chanel Day, or Senior Beach; that’s the same. We no longer do the senior parade on the first day of school; I know that’s changed. I think now it’s the senior sunrise instead, and I’m pretty certain my senior year was one of the last years that seniors came down from the YMCA in scooters and such.

CC: I never really knew about that!

KC: Yeah, yeah, it held up traffic. It wasn’t supposed to, but it sometimes would, so eventually that got pushed. But that used to be the first day of school for seniors. You’d park on campus then go up to the Y on like razor scooters or whatever, and then you would come down to campus like that! So that’s one of the big, I guess, tradition changes.

CC: After you graduated Marist in 2010, where did you go to college and what did you study there?

KC: So I went to Elon University, which is in North Carolina, and I went very specifically for high school teaching. My degree is technically an English major with a teaching concentration.

CC: When did you really know that was what you wanted to study?

KC: I am pretty unique! I knew that I wanted to teach ever since I can remember. My Kindergarten teacher’s name was Mrs. Huggins, and I loved her and wanted to be her for a very long time. That eventually morphed as I got older as I kind of decided what I wanted to teach, but I knew for forever that I wanted to teach.

CC: Awesome! So, when you returned to Marist in 2014, obviously much of the faculty was the same I assume. Did you have any “Marist mentors” or faculty that inspired you to return or that were good to rely on during your first year?

KC: Yeah, there’s been a lot more changeover since I’ve been back for sure. So, Mr. Mike Burns was the department chair that hired me, and I previously had him as a teacher as well. I hadn’t stayed in touch with him since high school, but quickly upon coming back he got thrown into a mentorship role. Even beyond his role, he was just very active in my teaching curriculum and how I was getting situated feeling comfortable, so both in an official and an unofficial capacity he was heavily helpful.

CC: Upon returning, was it ever awkward at times working with colleagues that were previously your teachers?

KC: It definitely was! I think it helped that people like Mr. Burns were still my boss, so I still felt a little bit like ‘he could be Mr. Burns and he could be in an authority position,’ but first names definitely took me a long time to feel comfortable with. And I thought about how these people have been here and have been teaching and have all this expertise. That fact that I was in any shape or form on the same level as them professionally was probably just my own insecurity of ‘how am I teaching with these people that have taught me?’

CC: Did you ever plan on returning to Marist specifically?

KC: No, not immediately. I knew after my four years in North Carolina that I wanted to come back to Georgia – I missed Atlanta. I didn’t even expect Marist to have any job openings, and it hadn’t dawned on me that I would start my career here. To me, it always felt like when I established myself a bit more or later in my life I would come back to Atlanta. So, it always sounded nice, but I did not expect it to happen right away.

CC: Did you have a favorite memory from Marist whether it is from when you were a student here or a teacher now?

KC: I’m not very good at having a specific memory, but here’s one Mr. Trapani may not like: There was an AP history exam, either my junior or senior year, and most of my memories in hindsight are memories that I feel brought my class together, kind of those big memories. Anyways, it started pouring and the parking lot flooded, so a lot of us were told to move our cars before the exam started. So, we looked out and there were two senior boys that had taken canoes and kayaks from the outdoor ed storage and were pretty much canoeing and kayaking over the parking lot. All the big memories have stuck with me – whether that’s Senior Emmaus, the Senior Spring Musical – kind of those big moments that seemed to be a very shared memory that we all think back to.

CC: While you were a student at Marist, what sorts of activities were you involved in?

KC: I managed cross country for three years – my friends were all runners (and I did not like running), but that was another way of being involved. I always did the spring musicals and loved it, and I did choir as my elective, too.

CC: Obviously you chose to return to Marist, so something about this place must feel right for you. So why choose to call this place home again?

KC: I think that’s something I hadn’t realized in the moment –  that it was more than just a school – and that’s a really hard thing to put a finger on. But a lot of it is the community – that people are excited for alumni to come back, and the alumni feel welcomed back. I have plenty of friends that would never think of going back to their high schools, so there’s something about the community and how the student population and the families chose and want to be here. The students are capable of a lot here, and so being in a place where I can truly teach students that want to be here, want to learn, want to be a part of that community is quite extraordinary. I think the fact that we have all chosen to be here in some capacity can make that community really special. 

CC: Does anything aspect of your life surprise you about where you are right now?

KC: I wouldn’t have expected Marist to be such a big part of my life now. Not that I have any issues with that, but I came back from college, ended up living with two girls that I went to high school with, have been teaching here for six years, obviously I met my husband here, and we’re both actively involved in the community. It’s just the fact that a place I thought I went to high school for four years is now, kind of, the center of my life. Nearly every day of the week I am here – It’s a great thing, but I guess I didn’t expect Marist to be as big a part of my life as it is. Not in a bad way, though!

CC: No, of course not! Finally, as you reflect on this past decade for you, is there any possible way to sum it up in one word?

KC: That’s a tricky one. I guess for me Marist has just been really formative. It was formative for me as a student in pursuing my educational passions, the friends I made, and what I was involved in. And now, it’s formative for me in my career. I’ve learned a lot about how I am as a teacher, a lot about how I want to be as a teacher, where I want to be. Yeah, I guess Marist has just been very formative.

*****

Upon reflecting over Mrs. Carroll’s words and thinking of my own experience with Marist, one thing’s universal: Marist has formed each of us into the students and teachers and parents and brothers and sisters and leaders we are today. 

Thank you, Marist, for being more than just a school. Thank you for being our home.

 

Mrs. Carroll is one of several Marist School alumni that chose to return to their alma mater as current Marist faculty and staff. Current faculty and staff include alumni Mrs. Katie Fowler Brown ’06, Mr. Jim Byrne ’83, Mrs. Katherine Bain ’10, Ms. Caroline Belden ’12, Mr. Mike Coveny ’81, Ms. Katie Crowe ’06, Mrs. Angela Gentile Elledge ’88, Ms. Joan Kelleher Guhl ’93, Dr. Shannon Crunk Hipp ’94, Dr. Nick Hoffman ’03, Ms. Jennifer Tharp Hogan ’92, Mrs. Brittany Deedy Loudermilk ’07, Mrs. Amelia Gleaton Luke ’01, Mrs. Kelley Crowe Mandy ’96, Ms. Laura McGregor ’01, Mr. Matthew McMurray ’12, Mr. Eric McNaughton ’90, Mrs. Lexy Barton Mizell ’03, Mr. Kevin Moore ’04, Mr. David Negus ’84, Mrs. Erin Shern Paul ’92, Mrs. Colleen Cogan Penn ’05, Mr. Dan Perez ’84, Mrs. Julie McCrary Rogers ’92, Mr. Matt Romano ’95, Mr. Jordan Snallings ’11, Mrs. Kerri Stinger-Herbert ’00, Mrs. Celine Sherman Stribling ’78, and Mr. Mike Trapani ’70.