In addition to the three new teachers gracing the Old Rochester Regional High School ranks as of this year, the school procured another about a month into the year. Due to the sudden retirement of Mrs. Johnston, one of ORR’s Spanish teachers, a seat needed filling for those Spanish classes as well as a senior homeroom. Principal Devoll excitedly announced the return of Mrs. Carla Cafarella.
With a double major Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature and Speech Communications Studies from University of Rhode Island and a Master’s Degree in Speech Communications Studies from Emerson College, Cafarella began teaching right out of graduate school at ORR. After three years, she decided to put her career on pause to start a family.
When her children were young, she began tutoring Spanish from her home until she began a seven-year term at the Loft Preschool in Marion. When her swift return to ORR was presented, she couldn’t help but jump back in.
“The door was opened for me, so to speak. I’ve had my eye on the possibility of coming back for years. It just happened very quickly and unexpectedly this past month. It was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss,” said Cafarella.
A longtime lover of school, Cafarella seems to feel at home in the classroom.
“There’s just something about being in the classroom that feels good to me,” she said.
She has the belief, shared with many other teachers in the school, that the role of a teacher is important because “teaching is investing.” With a strong philosophy like that and a persona that omits optimism, it is no wonder why she was chosen to return.
“I have had a very warm welcome! It’s exciting to be back … and very busy. There’s so much to do and relearn for me this year. A lot has changed since I left ORR in ’97. I’m familiarizing myself with new technology, Power School, building curriculum, learning names and a whole new routine. One of the best parts about being back is that my daughter is a student at the high school, and my son at the Junior High. I love being in the same building with them all day,” she said.
By Jessica Correia