Jill Cote '07

I graduated in 2007 with a BA degree in Theology (with enough credits to be certified in History and Secondary Education, as a back up plan). My senior year at SJC I had created an internship with my advisor, Sister Sunderman. It was a student teaching experience at the Sisters of Mercy High School in Portland, ME called Catherine McAuley High School. Upon graduating, I worked and lived in Portland for the summer not really knowing where I would end up; that was, until I got a call from the place I wanted to be in the first place! Catherine McAuley High School had two open positions that I applied for: History and Religious Studies. The same day I went for the interview I was hired!

Thanks to my favorite Theology department at SJC, I have directly used almost every single piece of advice and knowledge for teaching Religion. I teach the 10th grade (Christian Scripture) and 11th grade (Morality and Social Justice) Religion classes. I am also the moderator for Key Club, the school's community service organization where each Key Clubber has to commit to 50 hours. (Every CMHS student has to do 15 hours.) I am also on the Mission Effectiveness Committee with Sister Mary George. (How I have missed seeing her around SJC!) I also get to work with another fellow Theology grad, Mary Tibbetts!

The most rewarding thing about teaching at Catherine McAuley High School is hard to describe. The moment where you are teaching a new theme or lesson and you can visibly see a student connect or react is really on the top of my list.  One milestone for me this year is that the graduating class at CMHS is the first class I started teaching with when I was still a senior at SJC. Having had these students for 3 years of teaching and service, I am moved by the beauty of what God has in store for them.

It is the fellowship, networking, and confidence in your abilities that is most memorable from my time at SJC. When you have the support system of the Theology Department, I really think you can go after anything that you want to do.  In closing, I should also mention that I will soon be marrying a co-SJC '07 graduate and Philosophy Major! So SJC also helped me find my future spouse!  (Due to our majors, I tell everyone that we are a good balance of faith and reason!)