Mrs. Delgado: fresh-faced science teacher, “product of an all-girls school,” and student of a nun with strange eating habits.

As our first month of the 2022-2023 academic school year is coming to a close, the new Mount Saint Dominic Academy teachers are finally getting settled into their new schedules. Mrs. Arlete Delgado spoke about her transition from teaching elementary and middle school to teaching high school and how she feels about teaching in an all-girls environment. Senior Katie Ahearn and Junior Bridget Castano met with Mrs. Delgado to ask how she felt about the new environment. She expressed her thanks for the warm welcome from our community, “Everyone is just really helpful and easy to talk to, so it really feels that even though I am new, it feels like I’m not.” 

When you sit and talk to Mrs. Arlete Delgado, one of the latest additions to the MSDA faculty, you will quickly notice that she seems very comfortable with herself. Her answers to the questions came easily, and she didn’t seem to mind the tedium of an interview. Delgado appears to allow her generally cheerful demeanor to seep into her teaching. What once was one of the slightly shabbier science labs in the school is now full of bright colors and warmth. Her desk is decked out to the nines with colorful banners and streamers. Above it, Mrs. Delgado sits with her arms politely folded and ready to greet us.

We soon discovered that when Mrs. Delgado is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her kids. She and her family will do “anything outside” when they have time to get together. A science teacher who likes to be out in nature. Who would’ve thought?  When she has the time, Mrs. Delgado also likes to binge-watch sci-fi shows. Our newest science teacher, a Trekkie, a Whovian, and a proponent of British true crime. Of course, these viewings are saturated with her love of science. Upon viewing the plot set up for the new TV show Halo, Mrs. Delgado found herself asking, “I wonder if that is something that could possibly happen because nowadays, you know? you never know.” We are sure her fascination with modern technology and scientific advancements that leave her wondering if a videogame-turned-TV series about alien militancy is within reach will bleed into her inventive teaching style.

Mrs. Delgado attended Saint Vincent’s Academy, a high school in Newark,  where she found her passion for science. When asked who she felt inspired her in high school, Mrs. Delgado didn’t hesitate, “That was my chemistry teacher Sister Noreen, who I think the first time we all met her in class we thought we were going to be in trouble just because she was all over the place” Meet the character that helped Mrs. Delgado connect with her calling of science: her freshman chemistry teacher Sister Noreen. Sister’s idea of a chemistry lesson was a little hands-on. “She ate packing peanuts, and we were all like ‘Why!’, screaming at her, ‘why are you doing that?! Why? Stop!” That was a mini chem lesson that she gave us at that time of the packaging peanuts. And I just thought, okay, this is going to be different; it’s weird definitely, for sure.” Sister Noreen also ate chalk, effectively shocking Mrs. Delgado and her classmates into a love of science.

Despite this massive connection, Mrs. Delgado felt that the career she would choose was not always clear. “Teaching science found me… [it] pulled me out of my comfort zone and helped me to grow as an educator and a person.” In her time at the Mount, Mrs. Delgado wants to encourage her students to think outside the box and to leave that comfort zone in the same way she did as a teen to find her calling. 

After graduating high school, Mrs. Delgado received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from New Jersey City University and her Masters of Education from Seton Hall University. As a highly educated woman, we asked her to bestow some wisdom on our upper-class women who are preparing to embark on their own college journeys. She encouraged our future graduates to trust and believe in themselves. “Don’t give up; it does get sometimes scary. As females, sometimes there are blocks in the way; don’t be afraid to break them down or climb over them because you gotta do what you gotta do.” She also perhaps alluded to her own adolescent doubts, “It’s very easy to sometimes give up dreams and hopes and ideas that you have; don’t think that you have to find your full passion right away. Your other passions that you didn’t know you had come out. And don’t be afraid of that too because that can create a beautiful outcome in the end when you have all these passions that blend together and create uniqueness.” Mrs. Delgado’s own uniqueness, story as a woman in STEM, and firm sense of self will certainly be an excellent addition to our Mount community.