The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

Featuring PMHS Teachers

Ms. D’Amico
Photo by Sadie Wisniewski
Mrs. D’Amico started fortune Fridays here at the high school because she believes in enforcing positivity throughout the school.

Our sixth featured teacher is Ms. D’Amico, a Reading teacher here at the high school. Before becoming a Reading teacher Ms. D’Amico was an English teacher. She teaches Learning Reading, phonics, Personalized Learning Reading, and ENL.

Before teaching here, Ms. D’Amico was a leave replacement teacher of English 11 at Sachem North High School and was a leave replacement teacher English teacher at Gelinas Middle School in Three Village District. 

Ms. D’Amico was asked select questions that go beyond only what happens in the classroom and these were her responses: 

Q: What inspired you to become an English/ Reading teacher? 

A: I originally wanted to be an English teacher. I was doing my student teaching and the teacher I was with didn’t want a student teacher, she would just give me dittos to give the kids for a book called Go Ask Alice and she told me not to do anything but that. Every day I would hand out the dittos, the kids would hand them in, but nobody would do the work. One day I said, “let’s all go around the class and read a paragraph from the story” and each person who read would get credit. One day there was a student named Rodney who was seventeen years old in a ninth grade English class, and we got to his paragraph, and he refused to read. I encouraged him to do so, but he began to get agitated. He got up, picked up his desk and threw it at the window as it bounced off the window, he said insulting things to me.  Another student came up to me after the fact and said, “Rodney can’t read.” This experience changed my life because that’s when I decided to get my degree in reading to help students who deeply struggled the way he did. Since then, I have worked with kids who have challenges such as dyslexia. 

Q: What did you feel like on your very first day of being a teacher?  

A: I didn’t sleep for two days before my first day, I was so nervous. On the day itself, after a couple of periods I relaxed and knew where I was supposed to be.  

Q: What is one experience you had in your life that was a sense of growth or realization? 

A: When I had my daughter, I realized that this human being completely depends on me in being responsible for her life and how she turns out.  

Q: What are your passions outside of being in the teaching profession? 

A: The beach, I spend a lot of time at the beach. I like walking my dog on the beach and collecting sea glass. Another passion of mine is gardening. I am a person who enjoys the outdoors. When I can’t be outside, I enjoy diamond painting. Diamond painting is when you place small diamonds on a canvas to create different designs. 

Q: What is your favorite topic to teach during the school year and why? 

A: Persuasive writing, I enjoy helping the students find their voice. I enjoy seeing them have that sense of accomplishment after they have completed a persuasive essay. 

Q: What is one word you would use to describe yourself when you were in high school and why? 

A: I was kind, because I was an inclusive person and I talked to everybody. I never wanted anyone to feel left out or excluded.  

Q: Who is a person in your life that had an impact on you and how did they change you?  

A: My mother, when I was ten and my brother was eight, my father left. She was then a single mom, but she went to work, went to school and then became a teacher. She inspired me to have a strong work ethic.  

Q: What college did you go to? What was your favorite experience you had during college? 

A: I went to Saint Joseph’s College. I can’t say I had a typical college experience because at first I was unsure of what I wanted to do in life. I didn’t start at Saint Joesph’s until I was 24, I would have to say my favorite part was graduating. 

Q: If you could say one thing to your high school self, what would it be and why?  

A: Everything works out when it’s supposed to and at a time in your life when you are ready for it.  

Q: What is a quote you live by? Why do you think this quote is important? 

A: “Begin each day with a grateful heart.” This is important because many times it’s easy to get caught up in bad news and not appreciate what you have in life in always striving for better. I always greet kids with a smile in the morning since I am one of the teachers in charge of making sure kids swipe their IDs in the morning. Me, Mrs. Hall, Mr. Neuss, and other teachers with this duty make a point of greeting kids with a smile every morning. That’s part of the reason I started fortune Fridays to ensure that all kids are feeling positive and grateful.  


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About the Contributor
Sadie Wisniewski
Sadie Wisniewski, Staff Writer
Class of 2024. Loves: writing, cats, and theater. Fears: failure and heights. Wishes: I could only talk to cats.

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    Tyler GleasonApr 16, 2024 at 7:45 pm

    I love this series, Sadie! It’s really cool to see so many different perspectives and stories about our Pat-Med educators!