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Alumni Teaching Fellow Program Debuts at Delbarton
Meghan Podimsky

When Delbarton calls, our alumni answer. Delbarton introduces the new Teaching Fellowship Program this year, a one-year initiative open to Delbarton alumni currently in their senior year of college. In November, members of the Class of 2018 are encouraged to apply for this unique opportunity to return to their alma mater during the 2022-2023 school year to assist a Delbarton teacher and mentor Delbarton students.

The post-grad Teaching Fellow term is from August to May, and the Program gives applicants considering a career in education an opportunity to experience life in a school environment, as well as serve as a gap year for alumni embarking on a post-graduate degree program or career. A maximum of three Teaching Fellows will be selected annually.

Teaching Fellows are responsible for managing the Delbarton Alumni Mentor Program, an after-school program open to all students that offers time management, organizational, and test preparation skills.  The Alumni Teaching Fellows also assist in an extracurricular activity or sport and shadow a faculty member during the academic year as they bring their own skill sets, passion, and expertise to the school.

To get a better look into this new Program, Delbarton introduces this year's inaugural Teaching Fellows; Roggi Chuquimarca, Andrew Gannon, and Jordan Hubbard, all from the Delbarton Class of 2017.

Prior to coming back to teach at Delbarton, Roggi Chuquimarca studied Theater Arts at Rutgers University. He was very involved in the Rutgers Theater Program starring in various plays and musicals. Now, he is back at Delbarton aiding Matthew Corica in the Theater department; “He is the person who pushed me to keep doing theater.” Even now, Chuqimarca is continuing to grow his acting career, going on auditions of his own and learning from his students here at school. He applied for the Teaching Fellowship knowing it would be an experience where he could learn and grow from the place he once called home. “I want to help shape these kids in the way my teachers did for me when I was here.”

Graduating from Notre Dame in May 2021, Andrew Gannon studied Economics. Having an interest in History and Irish Studies, he was able to take his education a step further and pursue a double minor in both areas. During his time at Notre Dame, Gannon studied abroad in Ireland where all three of his passions came together allowing him to get the most out of his abroad experience. Today, he returns to Delbarton to work in the History department teaching Freshman World History as well as Senior Economics alongside his mentor Tom Brady. ​​“I always knew I wanted to teach and the students have made my job all the more enjoyable so I feel like I owe it to them to push myself to make their freshman year experience really good.” After school, you can find Gannon with the Stage Crew working on the School's theater productions. After working with Stage Crew during his time at Delbarton, he is able to use what he learned then to lead current students to success now.

Jordan Hubbard returns to Delbarton after attending Drew University. At Drew, Hubbard focused on his Psychology studies while balancing his heavy involvement on campus. As a student at Delbarton, Hubbard was very hands-on in shaping Diversity Among Peers (DAP) into what it is today. “It was my baby, DAP really started taking off my senior year here.” His dedication to DAP is what led him to becoming very hands-on as a member of the Black Student Union at Drew. With this Teaching Fellowship, Hubbard is able to continue working with DAP and bring his desire to impact younger generations to the School. “It’s a dream come true because this is exactly what I wanted to do after college,” For Hubbard, this Fellowship encompasses everything he loves. Hubbard spends most of his time in the DEI office where he can interact with students in between his other classes throughout the day. “I want to help Delbarton improve in any way possible and make it a place where everyone can go.” When he’s in the classroom teaching, Hubbard aids Rick Cimino in AP Psychology for seniors.

The graduates from the Class of 2017 became aware of the Alumni Teaching Fellow opportunity, a program developed by Headmaster Fr. Michael Tidd and DEI Moderator Tony Negrin, in the middle of their senior year of college.  “It felt like coming home; I spent so much of my high school time here,” Hubbard noted. Once their applications were submitted, graduates eagerly awaited interviews as the selection process began. Once selected, the three Fellows were welcomed home and ready to hit the ground running in the classroom only this time, with a different role. "Being called Mr. Hubbard has been the biggest challenge. I'm still getting used to it!"

Currently, the three Delbarton Alumni have unique sets of tasks and responsibilities as they navigate their roles as Teaching Fellows. From creating their own lesson plans to executing them in the classroom, these Fellows have found this new evolution from student to teacher to be fulfilling in the best way possible. “I have yet to come home and feel like it was a bad day. Delbarton has shown me time and time again they are here to support me” Gannon reflected on his time as a teacher so far.

The three Fellows unanimously feel the support from Fr. Michael and the rest of the staff and students as they venture further into the school year ahead. Chuquimarca hopes to help his students navigate the arts and find their passion there; “My main goal is to be influential to at least one student...I want to help my students dive deeper into the arts."

Meanwhile, Hubbard looks to further his work with DAP and leave a lasting impact on Delbarton. “My goals are to continue to support every student here. I want to change the perspective of Delbarton,” he expressed as he looks forward to the year unfolding.

For Gannon, he hopes to become an effective teacher and continue to work toward taking his professional career to the next level. “There’s still so much to get out of this place. It’s been the best welcome back and it’s great to now be a part of the faculty with a new perspective,” he commented, and he adds that, so far, his time as a teacher has been nothing but a dream come true.