Mr. Nikola Segoloni is Fontbonne’s newest foreign language teacher. However, one thing that sets him apart from many of the other teachers is that he was born in Italy. Currently, he teaches Italian 1, Italian 3 Honors, and Italian 4 Honors to the freshman, sophomore, and junior years. He is also a co-moderator for the Culture Club with Ms. Pagan. After meeting his then girlfriend in Italy, Mr. Segoloni began learning English due to the fact that she comes from New York. It was not until he moved to America in 2012 and took a ESL course (English as Second Language) where he fully learned to speak the language. The woman who first introduced him to English and America is now his wife today.
Born in Perugia, Mr. Segoloni grew up in a small town that is 2 hours south of Florence and 2 hours north of Rome. It is home to one of the world’s famous chocolate company known as Baci Perugina chocolates. Perugina is a small town in central Northern Italy. The town has existed before Rome itself and still holds onto the historical buildings. Here, he grew up with his mom, dad, and three older brothers. In college, he did his bachelor's in architecture and he minored in Political Science. When moving here, he wanted to teach others about the Italian language. In doing so, he got a degree in teaching Italian to students who want to learn.
Mr. Segoloni said that his desire to become a teacher began during high school. During his third year, he had a fantastic teacher who taught both Italian and law, which is similar to the government classes held here. He said “She had such a strong impact on me to try harder and transmitted to me this sense that it was worth it to learn, study, and work hard. She had changed my life and after that, I thought it would be a great job to do.” He stated that teaching is his dream job. The hardest part of the job is to keep the students engaged into what they are learning. He wants his students "to understand the language, not just read from a text book. They should engage into what they are learning and they should be interested in it.” Learning outside of the textbook is a great way to understand the culture and language of Italy.
When asked some differences between America and Italy, he described that in Italy, they make pizza very differently from the ones in New York. In Italy, they make a pizza that we referred to as a margarita, which consists of tomatoes, marinara sauce, and slices of mozzarella on the top. Americans are known for their plentiful toppings on pizza, however, such things most likely do not exist out of the states. The only topping that is served there is pepperoni, which they call peppers. He explained that Americans tend to share their pizza, since everyone takes a slice of a large pie, but in Europe it is more personal. This is because everyone has an individual pie prepared for them. He described that in Europe, the people are engulfed into American culture because many of the shows and movies shown here are seen all over the world. His two favorite shows are Friends and Scrubs. Some of his favorite movies include Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Breakheart, The Gladiator, and the Goonies.
Mr. Segoloni is a great new edition to the foreign language department!
Mr. Segall By Alexa Maldonado '17
Mr. Adam Segall is one of many new teachers at Fontbonne this year. He has been very hands on in working with the school’s extracurricular activities. He created the school’s chess club. Many students have turned to him for help with math and science problems. He has set a reputation for himself not just as the “new engineering teacher” or “new computer science teacher,” but he considers himself to be a “class supervisor and a guide person to have discussions with rather than just lecturing.” Mr. Segall is very passionate about his job. He says "My least favorite thing about my job is not having enough time to do everything I want.”
Mr. Segall was born in Stanford, FL. After 10 years, he moved to Jacksonville, FL until 2002 when he moved to Tallahassee, FL. In 2008, he came to New York. Mr. Segall’s affinity towards our school clubs does not reflect himself as a high school student. He participated in his school’s philosophy club and attended “one French club meeting, if that counts.” When asked if he knew that he wanted to be a teacher growing up he responded with “No, I originally wanted to be a test pilot but I found out that I couldn’t because of my vision. Then, I thought about being a lawyer but realized I couldn’t because I don’t like reading and writing, then I thought about owning a sandwich shop on the beach.” He received his undergraduate degree at Florida State University and his graduate degree at Dowling College, in Long Island.
He explains his inspiration for becoming a teacher as “I have a passion for science and math and I love talking about it.” His favorite course is Physics and it shows when students ask him for help with studying. “Mr. Segall has helped me greatly with my physics homework. In resources, I see him engaging with other students in various courses like AP Calculus, trigonometry, and precalculus. If anyone needs help in any of the math or science subjects you should definitely go to him, it’s worth it" said junior, Mary Petrosino. He doesn’t mind, though. “I love that the students are motivated and organized, it’s something I’ve never come across before.” Mr. Segall is definitely a great addition to the Fontbonne teaching staff!
Ms. Nicastro By Karen Chavez '17
Fontbonne wants to welcome Ms. Jennifer Nicastro, one of the new members of the Fontbonne family. She teaches Algebra to the freshmen and sophomores. Ms. Nicastro is the year coordinator for the class of 2019. “It’s nice because we both start together and grow together through the years” she said of being a year coordinator. When asked about her opinion on Fontbonne she said, “I love it so much." Ms. Nicastro chose teaching because she was a “people person." She wanted to interact with others while teaching something she loves. This is Ms. Nicastro’s first job. Ms. Nicastro was nervous, but excited on the first day of teaching. Ms. Nicastro comes very early to school just to help her students with math.
Ms. Nicastro is from Floral Park, Long Island. She went to Sacred Heart Academy, an all girls high school. In elementary and high school, Ms Nicastro hated math, but in college she learned to love it. She attended Providence College in Rhode Island. She started as a science major, but ended up switched to math with a business minor. She went to Hunter college for graduate school and currently attends Queens College.
Ms. Nicastro is the youngest out of 3 children and has three nephews. Ms. Nicastro’s mother and sister are teachers. Her favorite color is purple and favorite number is 3. She has a dog named Roxy. Her birthday is on August 3rd. She loves to read books on crime and mystery. Her favorite thing to do is watch crime shows on Netflix. She says "I can binge watch all day!” Her favorite shows are Law and Order:SVU and Criminal Minds. Ms. Nicastro said if she wasn’t a teacher, she would work for the FBI. Her favorite food is a bacon cheeseburger and she remarks "I love food." Her celebrity crush is Chris Pratt. She mentioned that if she wasn’t living in New York, then she would love to live in Australia. She reported that Mrs. Barton is like her “math mother."Ms. Nicastro is very excited to be at Fontbonne Hall Academy and is looking forward to making many memories with her students and faculty.
Ms. Sosa By CristaMarie DeVito '17
Ms. Sosa is a new member of faculty at Fontbonne Hall Academy and is an English teacher. Ms Sosa came to Fontbonne after meeting Mrs.Winslow and Ms.Marinello and was impressed with the English department. She was also "curious as to what an all girl education would mean academically." Ms. Sosa has been pursuing her teaching career over the past 10 years, however has taken breaks because she had 2 children. She did her undergraduate degree at Queens College and moved on to Hofstra University to complete her masters. I asked if she had always wanted to be a teacher and her response was no, she wanted to be an environmental scientist until she had found out that she had to dissect animals. Therefore, she moved on to her back up, English. Sosa stated that "it was a back-up only because I didn’t know what I could do in terms of getting a job because I liked to read no one's going to hire me." When asked if there was anything that she doesn't like about being a teacher, she said no. However, she realized that, to be a teacher, you must have a love and passion for it, because you never stop working. Moving to today in Ms.Sosa's life, when asked how Fontbonne has impacted her so far, she says that "because the students are so self- motivated, that I’m allowed to be more creative and open ended in my lessons" which allows her for a "hyper learning and teaching" for her personally. She said that adjusting to Fontbonne was very easy however the way our schedules work confused her for a while. Sosa feels that the most important aspect of being a teacher is to teach your students confidence in everything they say, write, or do. Since she has been working at fontbonne, she feels that her favorite part is being with her FA, FA 2, every morning. Ms. Sosa loves working here at Fontbonne and she as well as the rest of the Fontbonne community hope for her to stay here for a while. We welcome Ms. Sosa to the Fontbonne family.
Ms. Spicijaric By Stefanie Scotto '18
Ms. Spicijaric has been the principal of Fontbonne for three years. Being that she is still quite new to FHA, many people do not know much about her. She has a lot of great information to share with her students. Ms. S went to Saint Francis Prep in Queens. She also attended Fordham for her master’s degree. She came to Fontbonne after working at Saint Francis Prep for 25 years as a science teacher. When asked about her role as principal, she noted that “the real and most significant role is to provide the best possible instruction for its students.” She also said that an important part of her job is being able to adequately communicate with others. However, the great responsibility of being principal has a few setbacks; Ms. S wishes that she had more time to connect with her students. She believes the most difficult part of running a school is “delegating certain things to other people. To really run an effective high school, you need to have a whole team of people together. You also need to trust people to take on certain responsibilities, because building a solid team makes a great high school.” She says that she has adjusted to the Fontbonne environment quickly, especially because of the welcoming nature of students, faculty, and parents. Ms. S’s favorite part of being principal is witnessing the growth of the school as a whole. “I can see teachers teaching differently with new techniques that really work, there is a lot of student-centered instruction, and, of course, all the new courses!” It makes her truly happy to see students’ excitement about being at Fontbonne. She loves the strong sense of sisterhood in the community and the connections between teachers and students.
There are a few interesting tidbits about our principal that Bonnies may not have known before: “I am a huge Mets fan, and I love to attend their games. Another thing that you may or may not believe about me is that I love to go to rock concerts.” Our principal knows that high school can be challenging. She has some important advice to give the girls here at Fontbonne: "Sometimes you might be in the moment and find things really difficult but you just have to stick out and keep on believing. Sometimes girls can be underconfident, but they should believe in themselves always. I want you all to know that you are all talented and if you believe in yourself, eventually everything will be okay."