The Student News Site of New Castle Senior High School

Eye of the Hurricane

  • May 27Eye of the Hurricane FALL Edition Now Live!
The Student News Site of New Castle Senior High School

Eye of the Hurricane

The Student News Site of New Castle Senior High School

Eye of the Hurricane

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Getting to Know Mrs. Tota


Mrs. Tota is one of our new Jr. High English teachers at the New Castle High School. She is a late addition to the 2023-24 school year, taking over for Mrs. Townley as she moved into the Jr. High office as our newest guidance counselor. I thought now would be a great time to talk to her and get to know Mrs. Tota a little more. I have compiled 12 questions for her so enjoy her answers.

  • Where did you go to college and what did you major in? 

I graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in English and a Minor in History. Then, I earned my Master’s Degree in School Librarianship from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland.

  • Why did you pick New Castle?

I chose to come to New Castle because I had heard all good things about the school and the staff. I wanted to be a part of the Hurricane Nation and their strive for Excellence.

  • Why did you want to become a teacher?

I have always wanted to be a teacher – ever since I was 5 years old – but it wasn’t until some very inspiring English teachers during my junior high and high school years that guided me toward being an English teacher. I was in awe of their intelligence and knowledge and how they were able to connect with their students. I wanted to do the same thing.

  • Is this your first teaching experience? 

No, I taught in Dorchester County, Maryland for 10 years, then at Keystone Charter School for two years, I was the Director of Education at Laurel Technical Institute in Hermitage, PA, and then for three years I was the High School Librarian at Farrell Area High School in Farrell, PA.

  • What are your expectations of your students in terms of behavior and academic performance?

In all aspects I expect my students to do their VERY BEST everyday. Hard work and perseverance pays off, but they have to be the ones that put forth the effort.

  • What are some of your favorite lessons to teach?

My favorite novels to teach are “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. With both of these novels, I love teaching about tolerance and justice. Right now I don’t have a favorite lesson, but I know there will be one soon.

  • How has your school year gone so far?

It has been absolutely SUPER so far. Everyone has been so kind to me and welcoming. 

  • Do you have any hobbies outside of school?

Outside of school, I love to read and to spend time with my family. I also love photography.

  • What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe in a mix of student-centered instruction and performance based learning. I believe all students can learn and all students can show their knowledge in a variety of ways and should do so.

  • What do you least like about teaching?

There is really nothing I don’t like about teaching, but I do always wish lunch could be longer. Hahaha!

  • What do you most like about teaching?

I love teaching because even as the teacher, you never stop learning. So while I am able to teach 7th graders about metaphors and similes and how to read effectively, I am also learning new ways to connect with my students and to pique their interest in learning. That’s what I love.

  • If you did not become a teacher what would you have done?

I would have been a writer and possibly owned my coffee shop.

Mrs. Tota is currently stationed in room 126 so stop by and make her feel welcomed. Thanks for reading Canes!

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