Mariemont High School: where dreams come to die


Shockingly, teachers do not live at school. Their lives outside of Mariemont are an ambiguity to most students. An even bigger mystery? Why they chose to be teachers in the first place.

“Not surprisingly I didn’t always want to be a teacher,” says statistics teacher, Mr. Wainscott. “I wanted to play in the big leagues. I originally got a finance degree from UC. I don’t really know why I became a teacher, but Andrew Sizer thinks it’s my love for kids. I just love waking up at 6:30am to come see the faces of my students every morning, but my favorite part of teaching at Mariemont is looking for Jenike everyday.”

Mrs. Leatherwood, on the other hand, always knew she was meant to teach.

At age 19 Leatherwood performed in a church variety show during her freshman year at Xavier University. (PHOTO BY LEATHERWOOD)

“I wanted to be a teacher since I was in junior high, but I used to love perform in church musicals so I secretly wanted to perform on Broadway,” she says. “I was always interested in teaching high school, but it wasn’t until I became a teacher I realized how much I really like working with teenagers and allowing them to discover who they are.”

Mr. Vanags wasn’t always as sure. He tried a number of different jobs including landscaping and flipping houses.

“I was nervous I wouldn’t make enough money as a teacher,” he says. “But after I started subbing I realized how much I love it and how little money really matters. The dynamic with these kids is incredible, every day is different and filled with opportunity.”

Mrs. Colpi dreamed of being a librarian as a child, as she wanted nothing more than to read all day in the excellent air conditioning of the Shelbyville Public Library. She found her passion later on when working as a counselor for freshman orientation at Purdue and was asked to stall a group of 50 girls until their next activity was ready.

“We got into a great discussion about how to make the school a better and safer place, and I realized all I wanted to do in my career was be helpful for others. High school was tough for me, so I wanted to make it better for other kids. I was working on a graduate assistantship when I interviewed at Mariemont. It was the year they were putting in the walls, so Dr. Renner put a hard hat on me when I started my interview. I got the job, and it’s been a great fit for me since.”

Mr. Miller knew where his career path would lead, even as a 17 year old at Anderson High School. (PHOTO BY MILLER)

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” says Mr. Miller. “I’m a son of a minister so I knew I wanted to help others. I started out studying to be a history teacher but switched because I was much better at math and physics: they just fit my brain better. My first job was at a junior high, and I hated it so much that I quit and was going to join the Air Force to get an electrical engineering degree, instead. The Sunday night before I was suppose to leave on a bus to join the Air Force, I got a call from a family friend offering me a high school teaching job in Arizona. I never got on the bus and have been teaching ever since.”

Regardless of how these teachers got here, Mariemont wouldn’t be the same without them.

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One Response to “Mariemont High School: where dreams come to die”

  1. Courtney: Nicely done (although it worried me when I saw the title!).

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