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Teaher is New Kid on the Block

Mary Faith Zanghi is the self-proclaimed new kid on the block at Weston Middle School, but she isn't a student.

"I relate to all the sixth-graders coming in here, where they're trying to learn the new school and the new faces," said Zanghi, the newest addition to the physical education staff. She taught for three years in Newtown before moving to Weston. Although Zanghi says it took her awhile to find her way around the building and learn names, she's happy to be at the school.

"It's exciting to just see what's going to happen, because you never know what the day's going to bring with the kids coming in," said Zanghi, who teaches sixth-grade health with units such as stress and puberty, as well as the seventh- and eighth-grade physical education. "It just adds a level of excitement to see how this day's going to go and how are we going to work with the kids to make it the best day for them."

The Southington native played volleyball and other sports and excelled in gym classes as a student. But her physical education teachers didn't inspire her. In fact, Zanghi says her health teachers were exactly what she did not want to be: focused less on physical activity and more on walking out to fields and lecturing. It was her mother, a reading teacher, who sparked her interest.

"I've just admired my mother ... and I always wanted to be a teacher," said Zanghi, who is earning her administrative certification from Sacred Heart University. "Going to school, trying to figure out what I wanted to do—physical education — the importance of kids' being active, it's something I always thought was so important. ... It's something that they have to carry on with them for a lifetime. My goal is to teach the kids how to carry what they learned here for the rest of their lives so that they stay healthy individuals."

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