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New teacher profile: Rachele Catalano, ENL teacher

November 21, 2022

Rachele CatalanoRachele Catalano has always loved learning about new cultures and traditions. She turned her passion into a career, as she is Heatly’s newest English as a New Language (ENL) teacher. Ms. Catalano began her new role this past September and has already made great strides in her work, having recently assisted with the district’s first ENL Open House. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oneonta and a graduate degree from UAlbany. Ms. Catalano also has a certificate to teach adult English language learners. 

Prior to her arrival at Heatly, Ms. Catalano worked in the Schenectady City School District for over ten years, teaching adult immigrants the English language. She was also a substitute teacher at various schools in the district while simultaneously earning her teaching certification. 

Before moving to the Capital Region, Ms. Catalano worked at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees in Utica, where she taught English to immigrants from Burma. She also has experience working different office and accounting positions, in addition to having been employed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City at one time.

When asked what she enjoys most about her job, Ms. Catalano said it’s watching her ENL students grow in their learning of the English language. “Since they work so hard to learn our crazy language, it’s very rewarding to watch students use their limited but growing language skills to describe their ideas,” said Ms. Catalano. She goes on to say that working with ENL students has given her “a renewed appreciation” of what her family endured when they immigrated to the United States.

Throughout her extensive teaching career, Ms. Catalano has gathered many valuable pieces of advice, however the best advice she’s received is “to seek to learn from students.” She goes on to say that the best part about teaching is “watching any ENL student gain the confidence to express themselves in this new country they now call home.”

When she’s not teaching at Heatly, Ms. Catalano can be found volunteering in various ministries or at her church. A fun fact about Ms. Catalano is that she has traveled to two of the seven United Arab Emirates on a mission trip: Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Her trip also included mission work in India and Nepal.