The transition from CTE to Student Activities is something that Mark Mirandola has been looking at since he started as a teacher. Before applying to become the sole Director, Mirandola worked with Kelly Zuerner as the Assistant Student Activities Director for two-three years prior to applying.
The application process that Mirandola went through to become Director of Student Activities was similar to the process Principal Janice Schwarze had to endure.
“There was a formal interview process which involved a student panel of about 8-10 students, two rounds of interviews, and a student/teacher/administrator committee,” Mirandola said.
Mirandola has been involved with Student Activities since he started as a teacher 11 years ago. Back then, he was interested in creating a dedicated student section that could hype up sports and activities. Because of this passion, Elite and Trojan Army were created by him and Kim Jaros. Trojan Army was changed to N-Zone in November of the 2011-2012 school year by the students and Mr. Mirandola.
Mirandola has been a member of the CTE department since 2006.
“It was very difficult for me to leave CTE knowing that I built something special with all the teachers involved, but ultimately I can create a bigger impact in the building in this role than I could in CTE,” Mirandola said.
Because Mirandola stepped down from department head, new teacher Kim Jablonski, took over as head of the CTE department. Jablonski has spent the last 13 years working in District 207 at Maine Township high schools. She worked as the department head of CTE at Maine East and Maine West, and also taught numerous CTE classes. Her passion is teaching and hearing the ideas of her fellow colleagues.
“I’m inspired by just giving students and teachers experiences in careers and helping them move forward in their futures,” Jablonski said.
As well as leaving the department itself, Mirandola also left behind teachers that he personally hired. Andrew Himes is one of these teachers that Mirandola helped seek out and hire.
“We hated to see him go but we knew it was the right decision for him and the right thing for the school,” Himes said.
This year, Mirandola wants to focus his attention on a couple goals that he has. One of his goals is to be inclusive to the entire community, not just in the school environment. Student MCs for pep assemblies is a major part of this goal that Mirandola is starting to initiate.
“The 2014-2015 school year was the first time we had student MCs at the assemblies. Starting more this year, I really want to get students involved more and leading things like the video announcements and pep assemblies,” Mirandola said.
Overall, Mirandola is both intrigued and excited to be the sole Director of Student Activities this year. His plans are continuing to grow for not only the department but the community as well.