Teacher or Jedi?

IMG_2620Teacher’s creative approach inspired by galactic movies

By Staff Writer: Alexis Klask

Passion runs deep in Gabriella DiNatale, a HHS senior English teacher, whether it be about her love for teaching or her obsession with Star Wars. DiNatale puts forth the effort in order to help others achieve what they may not have necessarily been able to before.

She’s been a teacher for 15 years and has taught only here at Howell. She teaches English even though she has a degree in psychology. DiNatale wouldn’t want to be anything more than a teacher for her profession.

“I just love when you’re teaching something to a student and then they just start to understand. I feel accomplished,” says DiNatale.

Rather than only teach English, she also has been a part of STUCO (student council) for the past 12 years. Currently, she serves as the sophomore class president. Over her teaching career of being in STUCO she has advised four classes and is currently working on advising her fifth.

The most rewarding part of being in STUCO, in her opinion, would be the year of the 2013 Senior Survivor when $20,000 was raised for the benefits of The Zac Cain Fund and a mental health organization known as NAMI.

When DiNatale is not busy helping out with STUCO or teaching seniors their final English credit, she entertains herself with her almost impeccable social life.

When asked what her hobbies were she replies, “I don’t have any hobbies. I just sit at home,” which she then added, “Don’t add that in.”

In reality DiNatale is actually very busy being that she is engaged to get married next May. She plans to get married in a Catholic church and is extremely excited given that when I asked her about it she showed me her engagement ring and the biggest smile overtook her face.

For those who don’t already know, as if the large planet from Star Wars on her wall wasn’t a huge give-away, she is completely obsessed with Star Wars.

“It’s the best thing since sliced bread,” says DiNatale.

Even at a young age, she loved outer space and everything that went with it. She would take the time to learn more about astronomy, NASA, and other topics relating to space.

The spark for her dedication began when she was about eight years old and says Return of the Jedi with her family at a drive-in theater over in Fenton. After seeing Star Wars she immediately “fell in love” with Luke Skywalker.

She feels as though Star Wars symbolizes the possibilities of mankind as well as highlighting limitless creativity that abounds in humankind.

“Steven Speilberg fashioned an entire universe from very basic archetypes that exist in all Western Literature.  Star Wars truly gives me hope,” says DiNatale.

It seems as though DiNatale took her passion of loving Star Wars and interpreted it into a career of teaching students. She chooses to help her them in any way she can rather than to simply give up on them. She wants them to succeed and wants to be there guiding along the way.

“I just really enjoy helping people. Helping students is something that is a huge accomplishment to me,” says DiNatale.