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Teacher Spotlight – Ms. Dongilli

The “ritmo” of Spanish music can be heard pulsing through the second floor hallway of Mercy High School. Not only does the noise from the music permeate the hallway, but the laughter and mischief of Spanish students accompanies the tunes. These sounds are the product of Ms. Dongilli. Arriving at Mercy in 2021, the lively teacher immediately brought life to her classroom with her bubbly attitude and her colorful wardrobe. Ms. Dongilli is well loved by all her students, and most find themselves looking forward to Spanish classes as the highlight of her school day.

Ms. Dongilli regales her students with riveting tales of her adventures abroad, and most notably, her weiner dog, Alberto. While her classes are academically challenging, her classroom is often a hub for celebrity “chisme,” or gossip. Part of her unique curriculum includes reading news articles about Spanish-speaking countries. This includes content about family life, government, and even celebrities!

Not only does Ms. Dongilli’s classes provide an avenue to learn about pop culture, but students also compete in competitive games to win an assortment of prizes from her prize box. The most popular game, Super Mano, is the crown jewel of Ms. Dongilli’s Spanish classes. Student race to match the given Spanish word to the images pictured on the board. This high-stakes game has resulted in several injuries including a broken toe! Senior Kaitlyn List reminisces, “Ms. Dongilli made learning the complex topics of Spanish enjoyable rather than a burden. Her fun attitude and entertaining games made me look forward to her class every day.”

It is apparent that Ms. Dongilli strives to provide a fun and enriching environment in which to educate her student about the language she loves. When asked about her choice to teach at Mercy, she said, “The students really care about learning and being informed global citizens. They are so joyful to be around!” The sentiment is shared between students and teacher, and Mercy was changed for the better when Ms. Dongilli was hired. Her colorful personality coupled with her determination to impart as much knowledge as possible to her students has developed a love of learning in her young scholars. Many seniors, like Kaitlyn, look upon their time spent in Spanish class as the source of some of their fondest Mercy memories, and many younger and prospective students excitedly await their time with the special teacher.

Landry Lehan
Senior at Mercy High School. Cheerleading Captain, FBLA President, Mock Trial Captain, Student Ambassador.
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