Marywood Blogs

Alumni Highlight: Mrs. Marlena Colarossi

Posted by Byrne on 2017 May 4

Marywood University alumna and teacher of the Abington Heights School District, Mrs. Marlena Colarossi

Over the last few blog posts, the Reap College Newsletter Blog has acknowledged the difficulty that students have when trying to find a job in the field of education. However, just last month, Ms. Alicia Vogel was represented in the April blog for the success she found as a teacher for the Abington Heights School District nearby.

In addition to Ms. Vogel’s success with this nearby school district, another Marywood University alumna, who was only one year ahead of Ms. Vogel in the Education Program, has also found success as a teacher through the Abington Heights School District: Mrs. Marlena Colarossi!

Mrs. Colarossi was born in Clarks Summit, PA and has lived in the Abington area her whole life. In 2002, she graduated from Marywood with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education (kindergarten – 6th grade) with minors in Early Childhood Education (nursery – 3rd grade) and in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). In addition to this degree, she also found the time to earn her Master’s Degree in Educational Development and Strategies amongst her full-time teaching position. She also has her English certification for teaching grades 7 through 12!

In the Fall of 2002, shortly after graduation, Mrs. Colarossi believes she was “fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time,” and received a contract through the Abington Heights School District to become an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for middle and high school students. A few years later, she began teaching students who were identified as gifted in the Fall of 2006. In 2011, she became a teacher of the gifted for half of the day and then a tenth grade English teacher for the other half of the day. Mrs. Colarossi has taken on many different, unique roles as a teacher for the Abington Heights School District, and she has enjoyed every moment of it.

Presently, Mrs. Colarossi takes on two roles during her school day. She is an ESL instructor for half of her day and then a teacher of the gifted for the other half of the day. As an ESL instructor, she teaches language arts to elementary and middle school students who have varying levels of English proficiency. On the other hand, as a teacher of the gifted, she provides students, ranging from kindergarten to 6th grade, with challenging lessons and activities catering to their areas of academic strengths. In order to meet the needs of each individual student, Mrs. Colarossi frequently collaborates with the students’ teachers and other professionals in the workplace to provide each student with the highest quality of instruction.

Working for this school district for the past 15 years, Mrs. Colarossi continues to love her job, “I love that every day is different. Working with different groups of kids means that there is always something new that comes up, whether during the course of a lesson or more casual conversations.” She also appreciates “the opportunity to see how [students] change.”

According to Mrs. Colarossi, Marywood University has played a pivotal role in her success as a teacher. She stated:

“At the time I graduated, Marywood was known in the community as being THE BEST teacher preparation college, not just in Northeast Pennsylvania, but in a wide surrounding area. As a student teacher in my senior year, I was told more than once how much better prepared prospective teachers from Marywood are compared to those from other colleges.”

Looking back on her college experience now, she can appreciate the challenging assignments and the practical applications they had in relation to a realistic school setting. She is also grateful for the opportunity to participate in Work Study through the Tony Domiano Early Childhood Center as a teacher’s assistant, inspiring her to pursue a career in the field of education.

When searching for a job after graduation, Mrs. Colarossi strongly suggests “getting multiple certifications and/or minors to make yourself more marketable…, and getting as much experience as you can working with children.” Mrs. Colarossi, Ms. Vogel, and countless other graduates from the Education Department understand the difficulty of searching for a job after college. However, they are only a few among a plethora of Marywood University alumni who have found jobs in the field of education after graduation. Therefore, there is hope that you too can earn a job in this field!

The Education Department and Marywood University as a whole would like to congratulate Mrs. Marlena Colarossi with her success her field as a teacher for the Abington Heights School District. We wish her the best of luck with the rest of her career and her future endeavors!

Topics: Education

Posted by Erin Byrne

Erin Byrne, who is pursuing a master's degree in speech language pathology at Marywood, is a graduate assistant in the Reap College of Education and Human Development.

Read more from Erin Byrne