Welcome Back, Mrs. Stavinski!

In the famous words of Dorthy from The Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.” This sentiment could not be truer for our newest Spanish teacher, Mrs. Stavinski, who has just returned hOMe. 

Meet Mrs. Stavinski, our newest Spanish teacher, who is located in room 410, right alongside her colleague and former student, Mrs. Powell! Mrs. Stavinski graduated from OM in 2003 and continued her education at Towson University before returning to OM to teach from 2007 to 2017. However, after 2017, Mrs. Stavinski left teaching to be a stay at home mom. She also moved to Ellicott City but has now decided to return to Columbia and Oakland Mills. To her, being at Oakland Mills is a privilege since the diversity of students makes relationships here that much more unique. She says, “Growing up in Columbia was the best, and I am especially so thankful that I went to Oakland Mills because of the diversity here. When I got to college, I talked to a lot of people who didn’t go to very diverse schools and they never really got to build friendships and relationships with people of different races, ethnicities, and religions.” 

During her time as a student at OM, Mrs. Stavinski mentioned that the person who inspired her to pursue and teach Spanish was her former teacher, Mrs. Holland. She even stated that during her senior year of high school she had the privilege of teaching a Spanish 1 class while working as an intern. 

After high school, Mrs. Stavinski was able to travel quite a bit during her life, visiting numerous Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico and Spain. Her favorite place she visited was Santillana del Mar located in Spain, because of how beautiful the small town was. Other than traveling, Mrs. Stavinski enjoys reading, running, and taking care of her kids. 

This year Mrs. Stavinski hopes to make a positive impact on her students and inspire them the same way she had been. She believes that school should be more about the joy of learning and less about grades, points, and GPA. This year she wishes to focus on “making connections with people and building relationships with people.”

When asked about her teaching career, she said “I remember my first few years of teaching, it was hard because I was very young and sometimes I was teaching 18-year-olds. So I had to learn to act more mature than I was.” One of her students was even her brother, which she mentioned made her first year of teaching very difficult. She also spoke about how not having Spanish as a first language made learning it very difficult. Despite these challenges, Mrs. Stavinski was able to persevere and she believes everyone else should as well. As her favorite quote says, “You can start over at any time. Your day is not ruined. Your world is not over. You do not have to be the same person you were five minutes ago. Take a deep breath and start over again.” 

So on behalf of Oakland Mills High School, welcome back hOMe Mrs. Stavinski, we are so thrilled to have you! 

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