As Malden High starts a new school year, it has had the pleasure of welcoming a new member to the English department and a new Play Production Director, Leanne DeRosa.  DeRosa will be teaching English 11 CP classes and English 12 Drama Literature. 

Photo taken by Sandra Rivadeneira.

DeRosa says that she felt like she “spent [her] whole life saying [she] wanted to become a teacher,” and when entering college, she debated on becoming a history teacher.  It was then when her drama teacher helped her realize that she actually wanted to be a theater teacher and majored in theatre education. DeRosa then continued to teach theater in middle schools and even started a theater program in Lynn.

 What she enjoys about Malden High is the positive environment that the staff and co-workers have created; stating that everyone has been “so sweet, kind, and super nurturing,” and had the pleasure of meeting the kids as they have helped motivate her to be better. 

 DeRosa says that she “honestly [she wants] to get [her] feet under [her],” and further explains that “coming into a great program, [she wants] to make sure to keep that momentum coming and maintain that strong leadership that Sean Walsh has.” She is taking a large role as Play Production Director but students and staff have full faith in her. 

DeRosa grew up in Burlington, Connecticut, a town outside of Hartford. This is where she decided to become a teacher, from a young age. She said “when [she] was little [she] remember[s] having a play set that had all these laminated papers in it and would play teacher.”  From there her desire to teach flourished.

Working in a school with such rich cultures and diversity has been “awesome” for her. DeRosa stated “ [she] could geek out about political stuff and about cultural confidence and why it is important that people are represented in this school and in communities.”

Her goals and vision for the musical this year fit perfectly with the identity of Malden High and Malden as a city. She stated that her theory about theatre is very “community based.” In regards to the musical’s theme being fame, she expresses that “[she] does not think fame is what this community needs but there is a lot of diversity in fame and obviously this school is insanely diverse and highlights different peoples experiences and so [she] want[s] people to feel like they can express their identities.”

DeRosa has many amazing ideas, not just for the Theatre department but also for the  English department. When asked, Yahaira Marquez stated that her first impression of DeRosa was that she was “very enthusiastic and had new ideas about how to combine modern literature with contemporary literature in more classics so it can maintain students’ interests.” Derosa had spoken of being “excited for the ELA Department; trying to pick more books that are culturally relevant.” 

English teacher, Jennifer Clapp, emphasizes that Derosa is a motivated and energetic teacher. Clapp states that she is “full of ideas” and describes her as being “really really great with students” and it can be assumed that kids in her class can agree. 

Choral arts teacher, Todd Cole, describes DeRosa as “perceptive and very skilled in working with students.” He also believes that she is going to do “great things with the program, and [he] can not wait for her to share some of that enthusiasm” with others.

 During the hiring process what stood out to him most was her ability to “process a situation very quickly” and he realized this when he saw her in action for himself. He states she was “very good with students how she allows them to grow and [he] think[s] that is going to take her far.” 

Malden High School is looking forward to all that DeRosa is able to bring to the table and is interested to see how she interacts and supports her students.

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