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Meet the New Faculty: Mrs. Maribel Deloya

Maribel DeloyaSenior Jacob Sowers recently sat down with Priory's newest Spanish teacher as part of The Record's "Faces of Priory" series:

The Priory Modern Languages Department has been lucky enough to gain another great Spanish teacher, Señora Maribel Deloya. In the Faces of Priory tradition, I was able to sit down and talk with Señora Deloya about her time here at Priory.

Can you tell me a little bit about your background?

I’m from Puerto Rico. I moved here back in 2009 and got a job offer to come teach Spanish in the city to low-income kids. We had this special program where they could come and learn Spanish and French. I worked there for 10 years; it was a great time. However, my calling has always been high school. I studied to teach high school in Puerto Rico, and I taught high school there for two years before I moved here. I was looking for an opportunity and I found it here. Kevin O’Connell has been a friend of mine for a long time. He introduced me to the system and to the program, so after interviewing here I’m happy. It’s different from what I had done before but after ten years of working in the public schools, I’m happy I can move on and teach students that I can learn from and communicate with better, as well as teaching my culture; it’s incredible to be here. My background is education. I’ve done that all my life, and I don’t see myself doing anything different than teaching Spanish.

How is Missouri different than Puerto Rico?

Oh, wow. In the beginning it was shocking, because I had never left Puerto Rico before. Probably one thing — we always heard about it when we lived on the island but I had never experienced it until I came here — is the diversity. I can see so many different people, different programs, different places to eat and to go. People are just so much more open to the language and to the people. My daughters were born here, and they’re growing up in this environment where they can see that everything is different and it’s O.K., which makes me happy. The weather is so different. We have nice weather in Puerto Rico all year round — it’s tropical. Here it’s not like that, but I’ve learned how to live in every different season and to dress differently. We don’t do that in Puerto Rico, so it’s nice to be able to go out and try out new things over different seasons in sports and stuff like that. During the winter we’re inside more, and during the summer we’re outside more which is different, too. In Puerto Rico, I was always outside and we normally do the same thing all year. So that has changed significantly. Yeah, the weather was the biggest thing, for sure.

And how do you like teaching at Priory so far?

I used to work with a lot of curriculums, which meant I was tied to a lot of rules from the government and the Department of Education. That was tough because I wanted to teach freely, but there was always stuff I needed to make sure to read and teach. Here, I like how open it is for me. I can teach more freely here, and it’s more focused on actual teaching instead of filing data and reports for all my kids. I can be focused on creating great experiences for the kids and get to learn them, which I like. I like to have the feeling of my own class and teach differently based on each group. Some groups I can teach more culture, where others I can stick more to the book. Priory has let me immerse my students into the language, which is a huge part in learning it. They can leave the classroom and start using the language and understanding the culture. When I first came, I asked Priory how I should teach--should I lecture, talk more, talk less--that type of stuff, and they told me, “you can do whatever you want.” I’ve really appreciated that; it’s made my job so much fun.

Outside of teaching, do you have any hobbies or things you really enjoy doing?

I run at the Creve Coeur Lake, which is close to my house. Besides that, I do ballet and go out to do all the things for my kids like go to the library. I’m a very busy mom; I have two kids. One is six, and the other is three and four months old. We are very busy all the time. My husband has a restaurant — Blue Box Pizza — so everytime we aren’t at the house, we’re usually making pizza. I work on weekends, mostly. We opened four months ago in the Loop when my husband decided to quit and wanted to start something new. The Loop was a very pretty place to visit so we thought it would be a great place to start a business. We’ve been super busy since; it’s only family working there. We have a four-person staff: my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and my husband. It’s fun. We’re there all the time and it’s all our family. This is our second restaurant; we have a bakery off Olive we opened a little bit ago.

Do you have any goals for the future?

Well, I love teaching, but my goals are more, like, satisfaction. I have a twin brother who has disabilities, and I was in charge of supporting him as a child. I was so young, I didn’t even know how, or why I was helping him. However, he taught me to be patient and see how people can change, and a lot about love. I see that in my brother. He taught me so much. He taught me I’m here to support others. I see myself in the St. Louis community doing something big. I wanted to come here and do something powerful. I love the community and I’ve been teaching that to my girls as well. I’ve been teaching them that we can do anything. We can cook, but we can change the community for the best.

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Prologue, 1

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Prologue, 1

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Prologue, 4

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Prologue, 17

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Prologue, 21

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Prologue, 22

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Prologue, 41

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Prologue, 45

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Prologue, 47

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Chapter 3, 3

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Chapter 4, 20-21

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Chapter 4, 27-28

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Chapter 4, 41

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Chapter 4, 70-71

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Chapter 4, 72

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Chapter 4, 73

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Chapter 5, 1-2

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Chapter 6, 6

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Chapter 7, 10

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Chapter 22, 8

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Chapter 30, 1

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Chapter 31, 13-14

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Chapter 35, 6

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Chapter 61, 10

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Chapter 63, 17

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Chapter 66, 8

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Chapter 68, 5

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Chapter 70, 7

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Chapter 73, 3

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Chapter 73, 4


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