Interview: Sally Guadagno

Meet Sally Guadagno

Director of English Services
Mass Math + Science Initiative

Sally Sally Guadagno working with MMSI English teachers at the 2011 AP Summer Institute.

Sally is the Director of English Services for the Mass Math + Science Initiative. Sally is an experienced English teacher, with more than 30 years of teaching experience at both the high school and college levels. She introduced the AP Language and Composition course to Marshfield High School, and has served as the district representative to the Academic Assembly of the College Board.

Sally was asked about her experiences working with student and teachers in MMSI.

What do you enjoy most about promoting advanced placement in a more inclusive environment?
I believe all students are entitled to rigorous academic opportunities and challenges. I enjoy seeing students build self-confidence as their overall academic performance improves as a result of their participation in even one AP class.

How do you explain English as a part of a STEM initiative?
Students need to develop strong reading and writing skills before they can tackle the demands of STEM courses. Reading complex texts and writing with clarity and conviction are essential. Open response questions on STEM exams require students to explain, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate concepts.

Why do you feel that MMSI is so successful in increasing student achievement in AP?
MMSI builds relationships that allow teachers and students to build networks. Teachers from schools throughout MA work together at Workshops and Saturday sessions sharing best practices and strategies. Students work with their peers from neighboring schools at Saturday Sessions. MMSI involves school administrators in the process to support the AP teachers and students. With MMSI’s support, students and teachers have opportunities to collaborate and work collectively to achieve success.

If you were not an English teacher, what do you think you might have been?
I’ve always wanted to be an English teacher. It’s hard to imagine doing anything else! If anything, I’d someday like to be writing that “great American novel…”