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Marisa McAuliffe

Tenure: 28 years

Positions held at GA:

  • Kindergarten Teacher (18 yrs) and Kindergarten grade Level Coordinator (5 years)
  • Lower School Spanish teacher (10 years)
  • Lower School World Language Coordinator (9 years)

School Wide Committee Membership:

  • Diversity Task Force
  • LS Committees
  • LS Diversity Representative to faculty
  • Several LS interviewing committees
  • Kast Grant Recipient 2010, 2011
  • Professional Learning Committee groups

Honors Conferred:

  • Outstanding Achievement Teacher Award, 1994
  • Outstanding Achievement Teacher Award, 2010

Why Marisa Stayed:

  • Supportive environment
  • Feeling respected by administrators and faculty members
  • Being part of a team of excellent professionals
  • Opportunities to grow and become a more enriched professional
  • Opportunities to become a stronger leader
  • Opportunity to establish a Spanish program in the LS

Lasting Memories:

  • Wonderful, life-long connections to students, parents and faculty members
  • Involvement in Diversity committees
  • Being part of “The Faculty of Color” member group
  • Being a mentor to newly hired Mandarin teachers (2013-15)
  • The Graduation line

Memories from Teaching Kindergarten:

  • Reading story books to students
  • Teaching my students to learn to read
  • Opportunity to co-teach and share ideas
  • Opportunity to develop new Kindergarten curriculum
  • Playground fun times
  • Spanish club with US/KTK Spanish
  • Creating Gingerbread houses
  • Parental volunteers and involvement
  • Field trips
  • My adorable guinea pigs

Memories from teaching Spanish:

  • Teaching an adult Spanish review class/Participating in an adult play called “Los 3 Cerditos” (3 little pigs)
  • Providing reports to the Board to promote the new Spanish program
  • Providing students with culture of Latin American countries
  • Involving parents of different Spanish cultures as speakers in my classroom and at assemblies
  • Making sure students experience a wide variety of Spanish foods from Latin countries
  • Feeling rewarded when students comprehend and speak the language

Marisa is thankful for:

  • Opportunity to lead the kindergarten team
  • Opportunity to create new k-curriculum
  • Opportunity to provide a foundation for and also establish an innovative and new elementary Spanish curriculum
  • My children’s attendance/education at GA
  • My children’s excellent faculty members

Memorable Quote:

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” - Ayn Rand

Marisa’s Gifts to the Community:

  • A robust, creative Kindergarten program
  • A thriving Lower School Spanish program
  • The model of a lifelong learner
  • A generous community member
  • A strong Latina
  • Participation on many GA committees as well as on the boards of local and national associations
  • A warm and welcoming mentor to many young teachers
  • A Spanish teacher to not only many young children but to numerous GA colleagues as well

What Rich Schellhas will remember about Marisa:

"How extraordinarily fortunate we have been to have a teacher like Marisa, a unique soul who has fulfilled two exemplary careers at GA – first as a Kindergarten teacher and then as the inaugural teacher for our Lower School Spanish program. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Marisa’s Spanish classes, and I have always delighted in her energy, wonderfully strong language teaching skills, and her desire to share her culture and the culture of the Spanish-speaking world with our students. Marisa has been a pioneer in many ways at the Academy, and I will truly miss her chutzpah, her courage, her passion for teaching, and her dedication to our craft."

Next page of life:

  • Spending more time with my grandchildren
  • Traveling
  • Teaching Spanish to adults
  • Using Spanish to translate, possibly in the medical field
  • Subbing and tutoring

What Marisa will miss the most:

  • The friendly smile of many Lower School students
  • Many friends/ faculty members
  • Warm and caring environment


to share a memory with Marisa


to make a gift to the Annual Fund in honor of Marisa


to read Maggie McVeigh's tribute to Marisa