Dr. Sandra Perpich

Educational Background:
I graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in French and Theology, and I went on to complete a Ph.D. in Theology from Marquette a few years later. 

Educational Experience:
I taught Adult Religious Education for many years, substituted in the local Catholic schools for several years, and began teaching English at Aquinas High School after some long-term subbing positions. 

Senior English (British Literature) and College Preparatory Writing at Aquinas High School 

Inspiration to Teach: 
I come from a family of teachers, going many generations back. Even my great-grandmother taught German in the nursing home where she ended her days. Thus, familial history and aptitude have a role in my position here. I also enjoy spending my days around young people and introducing them to some of the best literature ever written. 

Teaching at Aquinas:
I delight in many of my students' personalities. As they struggle to define themselves within their familial and academic contexts, I enjoy watching them (well, many of them) move towards maturity in their decision-making and in their skills as readers and writers. I teach British Literature sequentially, moving from ancient epic literature (The Illiad, The Odyssey), to an eighth-century epic (Beowulf), to Chaucer and Shakespeare and Milton and Shelley and many other authors. As we read these works and encounter their originating minds, the students meet some fascinating people. They learn to read intertextually, observing how later authors allude to and comment on and reflect earlier writers and text. This experience establishes a foundation for grappling with even more complex works of literature. In my composition classes, students generally improve their skills with mechanics -- they learn, e.g., that grammar, spelling, and punctuation are not optional; and they begin to realize that mastery of such skills can have a direct economic impact on one's ability to get and keep a job in our competitive world. Students also learn to craft efficient sentences and effective arguments by organizing their material according to their rhetorical goals. When the semester ends, all my students, even the least interested, have become better writers; and some have developed into wonderful authors capable of expressing themselves clearly and thoughtfully.

Aquinas High School offers me the opportunity to interact with lovely young men and women in one of my favorite contexts. I myself love learning; and I appreciate the chance to share my enthusiasm with students as they explore their literary heritage and their language, and as they develop their writing skills and personal prose styles. I also appreciate the faculty here at AHS. My colleagues support and assist one another whenever and wherever needs arise, and I welcome their insights when questions arise for me. Finally, teaching at AHS has introduced me to complex human beings whom I cherish. I marvel at the students' struggles in their efforts to become the people God intends them to be. AHS builds a foundation for living the Catholic faith, and most of the students recognize the grace and strength this grounding provides. Their generosity and service demonstrate the students' commitment to their faith because their actions disclose what they believe and how they love. We live in a complicated and sometimes dark world, one where secularism holds sway, demeans religious values, and actively seeks to regularize and encode actions that I find morally wrong. Teaching at AHS makes me feel as though in some small way, I can help dispel this darkness one student at a time.