An Interview With Ms. Vitale


Victoria Bratsos, Student Journalist


What subject do you teach and how long have you been teaching it?

I teach 9th grade physical education, health, and project adventure. This is my 15th year teaching.


What made you want to become a phys ed teacher?


Athletics. I love kids and I worked for the YMCA for over 10 years. I just enjoy teaching and being with kids (I think of highschool kids as kids).


What’s the best part of being a phys ed teacher?


You get to have fun on top of doing your job. I come to work and I don’t think “Oh it’s a job,” it’s fun for me. I get to play volleyball with you guys or floor hockey or whatever it is.


Have you always wanted to be a teacher?


No, I actually wanted to go into athletic training and then being a high school student who was working at the time, I had to do a lot of hours in order to become that [athletic trainer] so I changed and decided to become a phys ed teacher.


I understand every Wednesday in February you are spreading word about the NCJW Teen Dating Program that has the catchphrase “Love Shouldn’t Hurt.” What goal are you trying to achieve with this?


I just want to bring awareness for teen dating violence and any violence in general in relationships. If I could help that one person, that puts a smile to my face. You don’t know who is going through what and as I teach the classes, some people think that abuse is only physical. They don’t get that emotional abuse and verbal abuse can be all in the same concept.

Why are you so passionate about this topic?



Like I said, it’s just to help that one person. I don’t have personal experience from it, but I do have younger kids and I just am loving the fact that I’m being part of bringing awareness to something that is there, that is unfortunately common.


How has being a teacher changed your views overall?


Patience. That came with mom and teacher, but when I started here at 23 years old, I felt like I was the powered one and I had to come in tough. And now it’s changed me on how I view everyone, not just my students, but I always think in the back of my head, “Remember this isn’t their only life. They have a different background outside and you don’t know what they’re dealing with.” I try to bring that to the classroom. There’s days that you have that are bad, there’s days that you’re great. I guess you could say I’m a lot softer now.


What do you like to do outside of teaching?


I love to work out and spend time with my family, Mr. Vitale and the kids. We do as much as we possibly can, whether it be day trips or vacations or anything like that but Mr. Vitale and I also are truly big on our free time we are at the gym and the kids are with us.


How have the people around you motivated you to succeed?


The students around me motivate me. The way I teach health, the way I teach and just seeing the smiles on their faces and the kids that tell me, “You’re one of the best teachers,” or “Oh, you really understand us,” that motivates me. Then the people that I work with. We observe each other, we discuss in the office, that also motivates me because you want to be good for them also because we’re one, our department. If one starts to fall down, all of us fall down. And also my family. That’s who I do everything for.


Describe the high school in three words.


Big, awesome, and energized.