Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Demaray

Q: What do you like or dislike about teaching at Harriton?

A: I dislike living 30-45 minutes away. I also dislike the stinkbugs in my room and the lack of either air conditioning or heat.  I really like the kids and the fact that I’ve been here for 17 years. Also, I like the support that I feel from my colleagues in the math department and that they collaborate very well together. In addition, I think it’s really great that we get the technology that we need, making things nicer for the students and for us teachers.

Q: Have you always worked here? If not, where did you work and for how long?

A: Yes, I even student taught here, which ended up being serendipitous. I was getting my masters in math at Villanova as I was getting my teaching degree. My advisor told me that Harriton was a great place to student teach. That’s how I’m here now.

Q: What is your favorite course to teach?

A: One of my favorite groups of students to teach is my Algebra 2 class because they’re very eager students, eager to please, and they have a very good work ethic. I like seeing their progress and analysis of math grow.  I also like teaching AP calculus. Students already have a lot of prior knowledge and skill, so in total, not as much material is taught, but the great thing is all of the amazing things that can be done with the calculus. My current calculus students would not believe what sorts of things they will be doing with calculus by the end of the year.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside of teaching?

A: Outside of teaching, I like to spend time with my husband and my dog Roxy (you can find a picture of her in my classroom).  Also, I enjoy photography when I have the time to go out and take pictures.  In addition, finding new music is a passion of mine. Overall, I really enjoy the arts and going to shows.

Q: What is your favorite type of music? Who is your favorite artist?

A: I don’t have favorites when it comes to music. I will find and try to appreciate all genres.  However, I do have a favorite singer: Lyle Lowett. I have a secret crush on him. He’s a fabulous entertainer, he has a great voice, and he’s witty. But I’m not “stalkery”, even though I have seen him 15 times in concert…

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: My favorite food is whatever food my husband cooks because he is a great cook. He’s the kind of cook that would do a good job on a show like “Master Chef”.  Outside of that, I like anything prepared with creativity, thought, and care. I’m not a big chain restaurant eater.  I’m a “foody”, so I eat at places where food doesn’t come out of an assembly line.

However, I don’t think I could try haggis or most of the things they make you eat on survivor. That is, unless I knew what I was having and it smelled good.

Q: Who/what is an inspiration for you?

A: I aspire to be as organized as Mrs. Rose. She is extremely organized, and she is good at getting her students to like math and want to do well.  Also, the former department chair, Mr. Liberi was an inspiration; he had a great relationship with the kids, even though he allowed no nonsense. The Harriton High Hchool math award is even named after him.  Also, my 11th grade pre-calculus teacher, Mr. Williams was an inspiration. I don’t even completely remember what we learned, but he was the goofiest man I have ever met. As I started caring less about what people thought about me, I realized that being goofier in the class could be a good thing.

Q: In what ways is teaching a rewarding experience for you?

A: I don’t seek other peoples’ approval, nor do I need people to tell me that I’m doing a good job. But every once in a while a note from a student at graduation feels great. Every note that I get, I keep. It reminds me that I’m in the right profession and that the hours that I put in and the work on the weekends is worth it.  Also, seeing a student that struggles with a topic finally understand it is very, very rewarding.

Mrs. Demaray is a very kind, intelligent, and organized teacher who spares no effort to try and help her students succeed. In addition to a vast knowledge of mathematics, Mrs. Demaray’s love of the arts has given her a very diverse and broad taste of musical genres and artists. Overall, it is a good suggestion get acquainted with Mrs. Demaray, as she can provide very useful assistance in mathematics, and she is full of good advice for each of life’s facets.