by Hannah Fegley
Name: Suzanne Giacalone
Subjects: Cooperative Working Students and Transition Support Teacher
Education: Graduated from Walter Johnson, BA from University of Maryland
Previous Jobs: office jobs in nursery schools, CPA
Came to Blair: in 1983 (20th year at Blair!)
Hobbies: Traveling, reading, cooking
Extra Curricular Activities: none
After Giacalone's graduation from Walter Johnson High School she enrolled in the University of Maryland. While at Maryland, she took nursing classes but discovered "chemistry and I didn't get along too well." As if reciting her grocery list, Giacalone blandly lists that she then switched into psychology and physiology. But then the unexpected happened.
In 1975 Giacalone got married. Only one year later Giacalone had twins, David and Elizabeth. She had not planned on having children while still completing her college education and as a result dropped out of school. She was disappointed but "too busy to think about it for long."
Relaxing a bit, Giacalone leans back in the chair. Her short black hair is neatly cropped around her face. Giacalone's back is slightly hunched as she looks down at her glasses, resting on the desk. She picks them up and toys with them, turning them over and over as her swirley purple earrings gently hit her neck.
"I was eager to return [to school] and find a career – I always liked learning," says Giacalone. In 1980 Giacalone did just that. Knowing the transition back to the University of Maryland would be too large of a step, she enrolled in Montgomery College. It was there that she met Dr. Rose.
Giacalone decided to take a class she was already experienced with: marriage and family. Dr. Rose taught the class and captivated Giacalone. Dr. Rose was made everything so interesting according to Giacalone. Giacalone also says that class sizes at Montgomery College are much smaller then those of the University of Maryland. As a result, when Giacalone was absent from class Dr. Rose noticed. Giacalone liked the private attention she received in smaller classes.
Giacalone took all of Dr. Rose's classes including a new program called "Handy Capped Citizens." She worked "on the field" and enjoyed what she was doing. Then came the meeting with the counselor about future plans. Each student had to tell the counselor what he or she wanted to do for a living. Giacalone overheard a student saying, "I want to be a teacher," and at that moment Giacalone discovered what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.