Meet the Teacher: Danae Rossman, Niles New Tech

Educators are perhaps the greatest population of unsung heroes in Berrien and Cass County. This school year, Leader Publications will publish a weekly spotlight featuring teachers throughout the district, giving the community a chance to get to know the hard-working individuals shaping their children’s lives. Throughout the next school year, their answers will be published in the newspaper that serves each school district.

Name: Danae Rossman

School: Niles New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy

Grade(s)/subject(s) taught: 9th BioChem and 10th Geometry

Where did you attend college? Michigan State University

How many years have you been teaching? How many years have you been with your current school? Six years all at Niles New Tech

Why did you decide to become a teacher? To break cycles of ignorance and to empower youth to be pioneers of positive change in their community, region and world.

Outside of school, what do you enjoy doing for fun? Serving the community through Relevant Church, playing the piano, traveling and playing ice hockey at the Ice Box in South Bend.

What is one thing your students may not know about you? I was not always a good student. I had to stay in at recess until I could pass the states and capitals test in fifth-grade. Let’s just say, I stayed in for recess for the rest of the year. 

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I would have to say either Eponine Thenardier from Les Miserables or Anne of Green Gables.  Eponine, being the daughter of a criminal, can appear rough around the edges, but she also extremely loyal, brave, kind  ­— and empathetic. Anne has a huge imagination and — very confident in who she is. She loves learning, is very ambitious, and isn’t afraid to hold an unpopular opinion.

When you were a student in the grade you teach, what were your favorite hobbies? Playing guitar, piano and painting.

How would your co-workers describe your teaching style and personality? Laid back, chill, in the zone.

Who is your biggest role model and why? Jesus. “While [I] was still weak, Christ died for the ungodly [me]. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person… but God shows his love for [me] in that While [I] was still a sinner, Christ died for [me].” — Romans 5:6-8

How has education changed in the last 10 years? There seems to be a movement nationally about increasing the focus of teaching through the lens of employability and 21st Century skills.

What is your best advice to parents to help their child continue growing academically? Even if the parent may have struggled in a certain content area in school, that doesn’t mean their child will. Intelligence isn’t inherited, it is the product of many grueling hours of hard work and determination.  If your child puts in the hours and time to learn math, science, writing, etc., the same way they practice their instruments, or their favorite sport, then they will be successful in school too.

If my students learn one thing this year, I hope it is… To strive to be a better person than they were yesterday.

This picture was taken during spirit week.

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