Meet some of the new additions to the Arundel High teaching department

By Sierra McFarlane, Madison McLean, and Imonni Johnson

This 2017-2018 school year, just as new students join the student body, 8 new teachers join the Arundel High School faculty. 

They’ve come from different high schools and one from a hotel. A vast amount of Arundel’s new staff mainly teach the courses English, Math, Spanish, and Culinary Arts. The new additions bring a variety of new ideas and methods to the school that weren’t there before. Questions were asked to most of the latest instructors about their previous years and how they enjoy their year so far at Arundel.




Name: Liz DePriest

Teaching: Honors English 9 and 12, and American Film Studies

College and Major: Valparaiso University in Indiana for her undergrad major in English and Secondary Education and University of Maryland for her PhD and Masters in English

Before They Came To Arundel: Taught at Northern High in Calvert County (04 – 08) and in between teaching college at UMD

How is the faculty?

The faculty has been “very welcoming from the time I interviewed here; I just felt really at ease with everybody. Like, one of the reasons I wanted to come back was because when you teach at the college level, you know the people in your department and don’t really collaborate to teach, and you don’t get to know them on a personal level really unless you choose to. So when i came back, I knew I wanted to find a school that had the teachers get along with each other and committed to the school and just showing up to work, teaching their kids, and going home.”



Name: Trisha DiStefano

Teaching: Honors English 9 and Daily English 10

College and Major: Arundel Alum that went to Anne Arundel Community College and did General Studies, then transferred to UMD and studied English for Bachelors and Teaching for Masters

Before They Came to Arundel: Taught at Eastern High School, 45 minutes away

How is the school so far?

“Awesome; Arundel is a lot more truth and people are more realistic.”


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Name: Meg Puglisi

Teaching: All grades for Intro to Microsoft and Culinary 1

College and Major: Johnsonville University and studied Baking and Pastry Arts as well as Food Services

Before They Came to Arundel: Worked at two 4-5 star hotels in Rhode Island and South Carolina

How do you like teaching here?

“I am enjoying it, but I forgot how exhausting it is to be at school all the time, but I love it.”


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Name: Chris Grandieri

Teaching: Algebra 1 and 2

College: Central Connecticut

Before They Came to Arundel: Taught elementary (all subjects for 5th graders), middle school (Science, Social Studies), and college (education courses and assessments)

Do you see yourself teaching at Arundel in further years?

“Definitely further years, I don’t know, 5 or 10. Eventually, I’ll try another grade.”


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Name: TJ Devane

Teaching: Honors Geometry and Bridge to Algebra

College and Major: Loyola University, Math

Before They Came to Arundel: Taught at Edgewood High school

How do you like Arundel?

“The students and the community are pretty awesome,” and “specifically working in the math department, the teachers are extremely helpful and extremely nice.” Mr. Devane says that the students are very eager to learn and take on their responsibilities as successful high school students. He’s “looking forward to the school year at Arundel.”


At the end of most interviews, teachers were asked, “What is one thing you would change about Arundel?” The majority of teachers came up with different conclusions to help the high school overall. Ms. DePriest recommended, “More resources. There are a lot of teachers here with good ideas or things they want to be able to do in the classroom, but for every kid, have a device or more Chromebooks or more time for media center access.” Ms. DiStefano said, “More opportunities to talk with students to have real conversations,” while Ms. Puglisi added, “An updated kitchen.” The school itself, according to the new teachers, is “great,” but there is always room for improvement.