Introducing new THHS faculty and staff: A Q/A with Ana Patete, new guidance counselor

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As the school year begins once again in an unconventional manner, it marks new realities, but also familiar sights. New teachers are by no means unfamiliar at Townsend Harris, but this year, the school has welcomed close to 20 new staff members. As part of The Classic’s introducing THHS teachers series, we gathered responses regarding the motivations, goals and aspirations from THHS’ new staff members. 

As part of this week’s coverage, we spoke to Ana Patete, a new addition to the guidance department, as she discussed her background, goals, and hopes for the future.

  1. Tell us about yourself and your background. What department do you teach/work with and how long have you been an educator? What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies, your interests, etc.?

I hail from Maspeth, Queens and am a product of the New York City public school system. I concentrated in Latin American literature in college, studying abroad in Argentina. After five years of work in hospitality and publishing, I shifted gears, pursuing a degree in counseling. I am a bilingual (Spanish) school counselor. This is my second year as an educator. Last year I worked at Fountain House’s College Re-Entry, supporting students with mental health conditions returning to college after having taken medical leaves. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, hiking, playing my Yamaha synthesizer, water coloring, pen-paling, and playing with my cat, Artemis. My interests include: music, therapeutic modalities, the visual and performing arts, travel, poetry, New York City history & culture.

  1. What interests you about teaching? What motivated you to want to choose this career path?

“Educate” stems from the Latin root, “educat” — to lead out. I am fascinated by the learning process, and inspired by the symbiosis that is the student-teacher relationship, both parties teaching and learning from one another. Through my extensive travel and work in service, I knew I needed to transition to a helping profession, encouraging adolescents to discover their unique abilities and gifts. It is an honor to be nurturing high schoolers in my beloved hometown.

  1. What are your goals for this school year?

Some of my goals for this year are to: get to know as many students as I can; collaborate fruitfully with teachers and administrators; continue to incorporate mindfulness into the school climate; attend at least five THHS sporting events/matches; learn a few phrases in Latin, classical Greek, French, Spanish, and Japanese from our wonderful World Language faculty.

  1. What do you look forward to the most this year? Is there anything you are excited about in becoming a new member of the THHS community?

Quite frankly, I am thrilled to be back in-person together, as a community, after 18 months of virtual instruction. I am honored to be joining the ranks of wonderful educators here at THHS, and meeting and supporting all of its gifted students. I am looking forward to Founder’s Day, when fellow newcomers will be sworn in, taking the Ephebic Oath together.

Photo by Kate Romero and Audrey Chou, Photography Editors