Meet The New Teachers

Each year, several new teachers and faculty members enter the Upper School. The Sentinel interviewed this year’s newcomers so that students can get a better idea of who these unfamiliar faces are and learn some facts about them. This year, the upper school has four bright and kind new teachers who allowed us to ask them each a few questions. So we proudly present Mr. Rupp, Ms. Mahler, Mrs. Mosquera, and Ms. Comas in the following interviews:

Mr. Rupp in his new office

Mr. Rupp

Where are you from?

-Well, I grew up in Massapequa Park, Long island and I moved to Connecticut to go to college. I currently live in Trumbull.

Where did you go to college?

-I did my undergrad at Fairfield University; I graduated in 2003 with an accounting degree. I also did my graduate work while attending there. I received an MBA in management in 2006.

This year at St. Luke’s, your position is in admissions, correct?

-Right, I will be the Associate Director of Admissions, primarily working to bring kids into the Upper School. I will also be working side by side with athletics on a couple of programs.

What athletics specifically?

-We are doing an athletic open house, which is actually taking place this Saturday, September 24th, where students will be able to come in and get to know a little more about our athletics program and learn about the admissions process. In addition, they can hopefully stay for the boys and girls soccer games that are on campus and also our opening football game.

What do you hope to contribute to the SLS community?

-I hope to get to meet a lot of the students. Right now there are many unfamiliar faces, but this is a small community, and I am very excited about that!  The motto of the school, “Enter to Learn go forth to Serve,” I think, is fantastic. At Fordham, the Jesuit community put a big emphasis on community service, so opportunities to participate in local service projects in the area will be great. I am also working with the 9th grade advisory group.

That’s great! Lastly, are there any interesting or funny aspects about yourself or your personality that you would like to share with the school?

-Sadly, I am a diehard New York Mets fan. I have a Mets bobble head in my office so if any students are also Mets fans and feel the need to grieve with me, I will be here in the Admissions Office. There is a couch so you can sit and let me know what’s on your mind, anytime.

I know a few people who might take you up on that offer. Thanks so much for your time, welcome to St. Luke’s! 

(from left): Mrs. Mosquera, Mrs. Comas, and Mrs. Mahler

Mrs. Mosquera

Where were you born? 

I was born in Colombia a fantastic Latin American country full of coffee, flowers, and music! I have to say, I enjoyed a great childhood in Columbia!

Where’d you go to college?

I attended two prestigious Catholic Universities in Bogota. One was the Universidad del Rosario where I got my bachelors and the other was the Universidad Javeriana where I studied Business Administration. I also learned French in Paris and Geneva, Italian in Rome and Milan, English in London and the USA and some German in Zurich. I visited Brazil and I realized that I should learn Portuguese as well.

Awesome! Sounds like you are a true linguist. What advice do you have for your students this year?

Always smile and be happy. Believe in yourselves and go for your dreams. All this will help you in life and in my class.

Very true!  What do you hope to bring to the SLS community?

I am very happy to have become a member of the wonderful community of St. Luke’s. Mr. Davis, Mr. Fancher, Mr. Yavenditti and Mr. Shee believed in me and I am excited to be working here! I have a commitment with myself not to disappoint them and my pupils. I am going to invest all my energy to transmit my dynamism to my students. I hope this will help make my class unique and interesting. I want to bring out their potential as individuals and learners. I eagerly desire to play an important role in the progress of this community as a whole.

I am sure that will definitely benefit your students! Lastly, do you have an interesting fact or story for our readers?

Oh okay. Well, I lived in Italy for more than six years where I worked for the United Nations. I was part of the volleyball team during the UN Olympic Games. When we were traveling from Rome to Austria, our train was stopped in the frontier by the police. The UN personnel were occupying several wagons on the train and everyone started to look out the windows, clearly confused as to what was going on. One of the policemen came to our car with a dog by his side and asked, “Who is Margarita Mosquera?” ” It’s me,” I told him. Out of the 250 people representing Italy in the games, I was the only one holding a Colombian passport! The police and two big scary dogs took me to a room where I was questioned and where my baggage was checked. When I finally got out of the police office, all my UN colleagues started cheering and clapping. They clearly knew that I had done nothing wrong and that the whole situation was a big misunderstanding. The people in the train station could not believe the noise! I was so happy to hear such an overwhelming support. However, when I was inside the train they all screamed at me, “You better change that passport!” Now, I am a proud citizen of the United States of America with a passport to prove it. Hopefully, something like this will not happen again but I am still proud to say that I was born in Columbia!

That’s a very compelling story, thank you so much for your time Mrs. Mosquera! Welcome to St. Luke’s!


Mrs. Mahler

Where were you born and where are you from?

I was born in New Jersey and I am from New Jersey! I have lived there my whole life.

Where did you go to school?

I went to public school in Livingston, NJ throughout elementary and high school. After that I went to Tufts University outside of Boston.

What did you major in while there?

I majored in English, Greek, and Latin.

Oh wow, that must have been quite a few credits. What advice do you have for your students who will be taking your class this year?

I would say to definitely use flashcards; but, also to just try your hardest. In my classes, we are trying some different learning approaches. We have been speaking in Latin to make it more of a modern language. But again, the best thing my students can do is to try to put in a lot of effort.

What do you hope to bring to the SLS community?

Ridiculous enthusiasm for Latin! Everybody should love Latin and definitely take it at some time in their high school career! Also, I am working with the middle school drama club. I hope to bring some enthusiasm toward that as well. I am also able to fill in wherever the school might need me.

Lastly, do you have any interesting facts or stories to tell us?

Well, actually, you might not expect this from me but I am a martial artist. I do tae kwon do, and I would say that I am pretty hardcore about it. Today, as a matter of fact, I am driving back to my studio in New Jersey to practice. I try to go once or twice a week. It is a big commitment but I really love what I do! I actually just tested for my black belt so I am waiting to hear the results on that!

Oh boy, I would tell your students not to mess with you then?

Haha! Yes definitely!

Thank you so much for your time Ms. Mahler! Welcome to SLS!


Ms. Comas

Where are you from and where were you born?

I was born in New York; I have lived in a number of different places. I have lived in New York, Connecticut, California, Spain, Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil, and France.

Which was your favorite place?

I liked all of all them, but I liked Connecticut the most.

What college(s) did you go to and what did you major in?

I went to Yale University and I majored in two areas: Literature and Spanish. After I received my undergraduate degree, I started to teach and went to graduate school at Stanford University to get two masters degrees. I also studied in Mexico and spent time in Mexico city. I went to France not long after that and went to a wonderful school called “L’ecole Normale Superior” where I studied French philosophy. I also attended the University of Provence and the Sorbonne in Paris. After that, I went back to Yale, where I got a few more degrees including my doctor’s degree, and I specialized in Latin American and Spanish history and literature. I also went and studied briefly in Brazil at the University of San Paulo. Then I taught at Stanford and Yale University, I was the director of undergraduate and graduate studies in Spanish and Portuguese at Yale. I decided to work in finance for a while, where I had jobs for international companies and Wall Street firms including Smith Barney. Then this past year, I studied at a Spanish university and did my MBA there. So after I completed my MBA degree in September, I was able to travel to Spain and China. When I came back, I applied for the position at St. Luke’s and I got it.

Wow, that is very impressive. You must have seen and learned a lot while traveling and attending so many universities. While you are here, what do you expect and hope to contribute to the SLS community? Do you have a passion beyond academics such as theater, music, or athletics?

I would love to be part of any efforts in the school to reach out to the international community. If the school was to do some sort of international project or cultural exchange I would love to be part of that as well. I am going to be working this year on the yearbook!

Lastly, do you have any funny or interesting facts about you that you want the school to know?

I have done a lot of theater, and I’ve done a lot of writing as well, and I am currently starting a book about leadership which is kind of an outro of my experiences in the global MBA program that I did last year. Through these experiences,  I realized there are many different concepts of international leadership and I hope to maybe design a course about it here at St. Luke’s!

That’s great! Well thank you so much for your time and again welcome to St. Luke’s!

-Tommy Champion, Staff Writer

Posted by on September 22, 2011. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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