By Betsy Costilo
Name: MaryAnn DvorskyEight-year-old MaryAnn Dvorsky stands up in front of her classroom, ready to assign the evening's homework. "Tonight's assignment will be from your workbook, problems one through ten." The bell suddenly rings, signaling the end of the school day. Dvorsky announces, "Class dismissed!" with a clap of her hands and escorts her Barbie dolls out of a makeshift school house in her living room.
Magnet courses: Computer science, analysis of algorithms, modeling and simulation, and discrete math
Education: Bachelors and Masters
Years at Blair: 6
Extra Curricular Activities: American Computer Science League, AP Computer Science Review
Previous jobs: Teacher at the Holy Cross Academy and Hood College
Hobbies: shopping and going out to lunch
Some fifty years later, she sits in her Magnet computer lab, reflecting on her childhood memories. "I loved school," Dvorsky emphasizes with a wide arm sweep of her classroom.
Dvorsky explains that the social conditions of her youth had a great impact on her decision to become an educator. "Women were told they could be secretaries, teachers, or nurses," she says with a shrug.
Following this standard, Dvorsky earned her bachelors and masters degrees in math education. Before coming to Blair, she taught at the Holy Cross Academy and Hood College. Despite her many years in the academic locale, Dvorsky says she does not find teaching tedious; she simply finds the long hours exhausting.
She explains that as a Magnet teacher, she is always learning new things in order to keep up with her students. "When you're teaching, a lot of minds are going faster than yours," says Dvorsky, a smile spreading across her face. "You have to be prepared to say ‘I don't know.'"
Along with the appeal of new knowledge, Dvorsky says she loves teaching because of the opportunity to interact with people, especially in such a vast community as Blair. As Dvorsky describes, "In Blair every student is different and each class has a new personality."
When she was a child, Dvorsky attended a parochial school where students were grouped according to their "ability" and, unlike Blair, there was no diversity. "I don't think I knew anyone of another ethnicity," she explains, looking around at the diversified population in her classroom. Contrary to her expectations, Dvorsky found her role as an educator and her role as a student to be "as different as night and day."
Dvorsky believes that nearly every moment spent in a classroom is gratifying, and her love for teaching stretches into every facet of her life. Weekend outings consist of lunches and shopping, which, according to Dvorsky, are usually done with fellow teachers. Her husband is a math teacher as well and together they have raised two children to follow their footsteps into the world of education.