Goodbye Rockhurst, Hello STA

This year, St. Teresa’s has welcomed a multitude of new teachers into the adored staff. Featured are four new teachers who hail from Rockhurst High School.


Ani Haroian

by Lily Sage, Opinion Editor

Ani Haroian 

Classes at STA: I teach four sections of Spanish Ⅰ and one section of Spanish Ⅳ. 

Decision to come to STA: This was an opportunity that kind of fell into my lap. I was just looking on the website and I saw that there were a couple of openings for Spanish instructors. So I just thought I might apply and just kind of see what St. Teresa’s is about. I had the interview the next day, and I was really impressed with all of the administrators and teachers that I spoke to at the interview. And they seem to be able to provide me with some of the things that I was more interested in, like professional development, and just more observation in the classroom. 

What STA students should know about you: I’m not a native speaker of Spanish and I had to learn Spanish just like you’re learning in your language class, and so it can be done. I love to travel; I’ve studied in several different countries — that’s very special and important to me.


Nicole Smith 

Classes at STA: I am teaching personal finance face to face and online, entrepreneurship and next semester I’ll also add digital marketing. 

Decision to come to STA: It’s a great opportunity to work with Dr. May-Washington, as an African-American female in education. Also, I thought that it’d be nice to work with the same gender, and at Rockhurst, I definitely had a purpose of being a woman of color. But hopefully the girls [will] better identify with me, and I’ll be a good example to them. I feel like I have opportunities to grow here that didn’t seem to be available to me at Rockhurst.

What STA students should know about you: I love traveling. I love live music concerts. My students already know that I nicknamed myself Mrs. Frizzle — I am all over the place. I love my boys  — my three sons mean the world to me. 


Jorge Taracido

Classes at STA:  I teach [College] Spanish Ⅳ, [Spanish Practicum] and Spanish Ⅴ.

Decision to come to STA:  I retired from Rockhurst after a personal loss; my daughter passed away and I was at retirement age, and I just needed to regroup spiritually. I think I always regretted not remaining in education, so when the STA job came up, I thought that [it] would be nice to teach there.

What STA students should know about you: That I kind of expect a lot from them. I also want them to know that I am a supporter of the sports, big time, because I was [a] cross country coach at Rockhurst for 33 years. 


Matt Hicks

Classes at STA: I teach English Ⅰ and World Literature.  

Decision to come to STA: I was looking for a change, looking for more collaboration and just kind of different ideas [along with] a refresh. 

What STA students should know about you: I want them to know that I care. I think if you start with a foundation of love and care of what the mission of the school is all about,  you can do transformative things.