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Staff Profile

Staff Series: MaryRita Gies – High School English Counselor

1 minute

Summary

High school English Counselor, MaryRita Gies enjoys helping students get their wheels turning to decide what to write about and help fine-tune their essays.

A native of Chester County, Pennsylvania, MaryRita Gies joined Seton’s full-time staff five months after completing her Bachelor’s in 2020. She has two older brothers, two younger brothers, and a sister bringing up the rear of this procession of siblings. She humorously puts it, “I was sandwiched between two sets of brothers for eight years until my sister was born.”

During her coming of age years, MaryRita’s father worked as a landscape caretaker for a private estate while her mother managed the house and saw to the children’s education. Homeschooled from pre-K to second grade, MaryRita entered public school for a short time, returned to homeschooling, and from grades 5-12 attended a classical Catholic academy, Regina Luminis. Her exposure to some of Western Civilization’s most significant works of literature began here.

After graduating from high school in 2016, MaryRita enrolled at Christendom College, earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts.“I took several courses in English lit,” she says, “and I almost chose literature! But I decided to major in theology instead. I realized that I loved literature because it points to what theology studies more directly. All the same, I’ve always enjoyed analyzing works of literature. Now that I work at Seton, I get to do that full-time!”

After graduating from Christendom, she worked for a short time in a daycare center back in Pennsylvania before joining the staff at Seton. “That was quite a change,” she says. “At the daycare, I was on my feet all day. Here I spend most of my time at my desk.” She pauses, smiles, and says, “One reason I like working for Seton is that there’s much common ground here. We spend time talking with each other, and those conversations give us a sense of community.”

As an academic counselor in high school English, MaryRita spends her days emailing students or talking with them by phone. “I enjoy working with the students and helping them fine-tune essays.

I also enjoy helping them figure out what to write about, sparking the conversation that can get the wheels in their head-turning so they can think it through themselves.”

To help her students thrive, MaryRita also encourages them to read and review their course manual and study the rubric for explanations of an assignment.

Her passion for literature comes through in her thoughtful take on books and reading. “Students should try and read from a Catholic perspective, but sometimes a literary work is good on a natural level,” she says. “I want to encourage students to evaluate literature from an analytical perspective and get the good out of it that they can, whether that would be an example of virtue or an example of human brokenness.”

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Away from the office, MaryRita enjoys riding her bike, listening to podcasts and audio books, and singing and playing the piano with her fiancé, Conor Trzybinski.

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