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Alumni Faculty

SHANNON HEOTAKY - MATH TEACHER

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Where did you grow up? I grew up in the Duluth/Cumming area.

Tell us a little about your family. I have a wonderful, loving husband. I have 2 sisters, 1 of whom is married and her son attends Mount Pisgah. Both my sisters and my parents still live in the area, so we spend a lot of time together. And of course, I can’t forget my sweet dog, Tess!

Why did you choose to teach at Mount Pisgah? I chose to teach at Mount Pisgah because Mount Pisgah is my second home. I had such wonderful, influential teachers that I wanted to give back to the same place that gave me so much.

Your five word philosophy on education is… five words? That is nearly impossible.  My philosophy on education is to help the next generation to be successful not only in school, but in life by providing engaging, creative, and challenging experiences in the classroom.

What makes a good teacher? A good teacher is someone who is responsive to his/her students and willing to change a lesson plan to reflect the needs of his/her students.

What music is playing in your car? Mostly country music

What’s your favorite movie/podcast? My favorite movie would have to be any romantic comedy. I love to laugh, but enjoy a good love story!

Who was your favorite teacher (and why)? When I think of favorite teachers, many come to mind, but Mr. Harrison tops the list. Mr. Harrison poured into us as students and as young adults. Not only did he provide us great reading opportunities and teach us to write creative pieces, but he showed us what it meant to be dedicated, have a strong work ethic, and to love what we do. He did all of this in an English class.

What makes a good student? A good student is a curious student A good student is the student that doesn’t settle for an answer because a teacher says that is the answer, but is always asking, “why”.

E-book or hardcover? Definitely hardcover, although I will read an e-book every now and then.

Beach or mountains? Definitely the beach!

The last book I read for fun was… I need to make more time to read for fun.. I can’t remember.

The best advice I ever received was… live in the moment. Let go and let God.

My hobby is… anything to do with water. Scuba diving, boating, water skiing, or just relaxing on or near the water.

Cats or dogs? Dogs

What I like most about Mount Pisgah is… it has been and will always be an extended family.

 

Michael GaynoR - MEDIA SPECIALIST

Where did you grow up? Atlanta, GA

Tell us a little about your family. I have three siblings: A younger brother and two younger sisters. All three of us went to Mount Pisgah.

Why did you choose to teach at Mount Pisgah? I’ve always loved making and watching movies, so when I found out there was an opportunity to get paid to do both of those with high school students I couldn’t believe my luck!

Your five word philosophy on education is… Make it useful and fun.

What makes a good teacher? Knowledge of the subject, dedication to the students, and timing.

What music is playing in your car? Buena Vista Social Club, Creedance Clearwater, gojira, or Ana Tijoux.

What’s your favorite Movie/podcast? I love the podcast My Brother My Brother And Me, and my favorite movie is Jurassic Park, Seven Samurai, or The Fall. Probably. I like a lot of movies.

Who was your favorite teacher (and why)? My three favorite teachers were Mr. Forte (for engaging the class in new and interesting ways with every subject), Mr. Harrison (for teaching me to love books I would never have read on my own), and Mr. Arnette (for challenging us to really think and not just regurgitate the “right” answer on command).

What makes a good student? Interest, openness to new ideas, and a willingness to work.

E-book or hardcover? Hardcover is a more pleasant read, but I do love how E-books let you discover a new book or story on a whim.

Beach or mountains? Sitting on the shady porch of a beach house while watching the waves roll and reading.

The last book I read for fun was… Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

The best advice I ever received was… Ships are safest in a harbor, but they weren’t made to stay there.

My hobby is… Watching Netflix, reading books, and looking for new ideas.

Cats or dogs? Both, though I like cats just a little more.

What I like most about Mount Pisgah is… The friendliness.

PAUL MARTINI - HISTORY TEACHER

Where did you grow up? Johns Creek, GA

Tell us a little about your family. My dad subs at the school and coaches MS Golf.

Why did you choose to teach at Mount Pisgah? It chose me! I started teaching 8th grade U.S. History in January 2015 right after I graduated with my Master’s in Secondary Ed. from Samford University.

Your five word philosophy on education is… Without challenge there’s no achievement.

What makes a good teacher? Hard work and patience.

What music is playing in your car? I need silence after a day of school.

What’s your favorite Movie/podcast? Lord of the Rings

Who was your favorite teacher (and why)? My high school history teachers, Diane Wood and John Whitehurst, because they inspired me to want to teach history too!


What makes a good student? Hard work and effort.

E-book or hardcover? Hardcover.

Beach or mountains? Any vacation is fine with me.

The last book I read for fun was… The Unredeemed Captive – the story of a colonial American family captured by Indians. History makes for the best reading.

The best advice I ever received was… God is always present, unmoving, calling you into relationship - make sure you're always moving closer to him.

My hobby is… Playing the piano, reading, playing golf.

Cats or dogs? Animals and I don’t get along too well, but dogs if I had to pick.

What I like most about Mount Pisgah is… The people I work with.