photo by Julia Poppa
How long have you been teaching?
15 years. This is my 14th at NA.
What made you want to be a teacher?
I actually always wanted to be a meteorologist. After talking to some people in that field, I realized I would probably be bored and just sit in front of a computer all day. Teaching was always the other thing I thought I’d enjoy and would be more fulfilling, so I switched my college major sophomore year to physics and education.
How long have you been coaching girls’ lacrosse? What’s your favorite aspect of coaching?
14 years. I still remember my first year of teaching whenever one of my students asked me to apply for the girls’ lacrosse coaching opening because I had coached her brother’s hockey team. I knew nothing about lacrosse, let alone girls’ lacrosse, but here I am today 14 years later still at it and not coaching hockey anymore. Coaching is a great way to work with and get to know students who I might not have in class, and I think it’s important to contribute time and effort to one of the many programs we’re lucky enough to offer at NA.
Did you play any sports growing up?
Hockey and baseball.
Do you have a pet peeve in the classroom?
Students who do not take responsibility for themselves. It’s not so much a pet peeve as it is a goal that I have for all of my students – I really appreciate when high schoolers self-advocate and realize that they are old enough to shoulder the responsibility for their learning, both with successes and failures. So, it bothers me when a junior or senior has almost a sense of learned helplessness. I don’t see it as a pet peeve though and more of a goal to help improve – I think it’s my role as a teacher to help students see that they’re responsible for their own success during the school year.
Pet peeve on the lacrosse field?
Missed offside calls against the other team. I don’t know why. The field could be on fire around me, and if the ref missed an offside call, that’s all I’d care about.
How did you meet your wife, Mrs. Omasits?
We knew each other a little bit in high school and college. We started dating when we worked at a summer camp together after we had both graduated from college.
It’s probably a little early to tell, but do you think your daughter has taken any interest in science or lacrosse yet?
Frankie definitely likes science and learning about things in general. She loves to read and asks a ton of questions – she is definitely an analytical thinker. She loves coming to our lacrosse games but isn’t really interested in playing sports yet.
Can you tell us a little about your fantasy soccer league?
This question deserves its own article in The Uproar. I am in a fantasy soccer league with some other teachers and friends, and I spend an embarrassingly large amount of time reading about and watching soccer to make sure that I win every year. I don’t even enjoy soccer that much compared to other sports, but I’m competitive, so I would join a fantasy brick throwing league if one existed.
What’s your favorite professional sports team?
The Penguins and Boston Red Sox.
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
I only really enjoy non-fiction, and it’s usually about science– surprise. Anything written by Richard Feynman qualifies as both the most recent and best book I’ve read because I keep re-reading them. He lived such an interesting life and was such a character.
Do you have any pets?
An overweight, diabetic cat named Mario.
What were you like in high school?
Quiet, outside of when I was with my friends or playing sports. Not much has changed from when I was a student at NASH, except Mrs. O. has updated my wardrobe to consist of more than just jeans and hockey jerseys.
What’s one thing on your bucket list that you can’t wait to cross off?
I really want to stay at the hotel made entirely out of ice blocks that they build every winter in Quebec, Canada. That’s probably next on the list, especially with being stuck at home for the past year.
Do you have any advice you’d give to graduating seniors?
It’s a little bit simplistic, but my advice to all of my students is always to strive for what makes you happy. It might not always be easy or come quickly, but life is too short to be unhappy around negative people, spend time in a job that’s not rewarding, or be living somewhere you don’t enjoy. Set long term goals, but don’t forget to be happy and live in the moment on your way towards those goals.