Ellen Summa, forensic science and genetics
Q: How long have you been teaching?
A: This is my twenty-ninth year of teaching.
Q: Where did you teach before you came to GCAA?
A: I taught at Ladue High School.
Q: What did you teach at Ladue?
A: I taught mostly biology. At the beginning of my career, I taught a little bit of earth science.
Q: Why did you decide to teach here at GCAA?
A: I retired from Ladue High School. It was the end of my career and I couldn’t really imagine not doing anything, so I wanted to get a part-time job and this is where I ended up. So I’m here in the mornings.
Q: What do you like most about GCAA so far?
A: I think what I like most are the kids, because they’re very respectful and they come from all different backgrounds, and it’s an urban environment, so it’s something that’s really different to me.
Q: What are your goals for your class and your students?
A: I want to inspire students to want to learn, to give them the desire to want to learn more. Learning how to learn is one of the big things that I like to emphasize in my classes. Another goal of mine is to get to know the students.
Q: What do you think you’ll gain by being a teacher here at GCAA?
A: I will gain a different insight into my city, because I’ve always been in the suburbs and now I’m in the city, and I like it.
Q: What do you like about being in the city?
A: It’s just fun. I lived in the city when I was young, and then I moved out to Kirkwood, and so it’s just there’s a lot going on. It’s kind of a period of revitalization for St. Louis, and it’s just nice and this is a great area to be in. There’s a lot of cultural events going on and I like the idea that it’s an arts school. I don’t like the drive, though—from my house. It takes me a long time—twenty, twenty-five minutes—to get here. My old job, it was only like ten minutes. So that’s the thing that I don’t like. And I have to be here so early.
Q: What is something that you want to know about you?
A: I want them to learn and want them to know that they can learn from the world around them.