With the first month of school coming to a close, newcomers to PA — students and teachers alike — are settling into the swing of things. This is especially true in the Middle School, where the division welcomed three new full time teachers this year. With their love for faith and learning, English teacher Ms. Ashley Croteau, Math teacher Mrs. Annie Smith, and History teacher Mr. Peter Kennedy fit right in here at PA.

Croteau, who previously taught at a school where open professions of faith are not allowed, exclaimed, “ Finally being able to share my faith here has been an AMAZING change!”

Croteau’s decision to become a teacher was guided by prayer and contemplation. She is relishing the opportunity to attend Mass at school and pray with her classes.

Croteau prepping her students for their upcoming test on nouns.

In her free time, Croteau loves to read and write, very fitting for an English teacher, but she also loves to hang out with her Youth Group friends and go to her cabin with family. 

Croteau first heard about Providence from Middle School Science and Religion teacher Mr. Eric Duffy, who praised his Providence teaching job. So when PA posted an opening that aligned with her specialty, Croteau applied without hesitation. 

Smith was attracted to Providence for the same reasons: the strong foundations of faith and the high level of education. Though always drawn to teaching, she didn’t always like math.

Smith helping her students solve a math problem on the board.

“I used to cry over math word problems in Middle School!” Smith recounted.

Despite this, her love of teaching has been there from the beginning and her love of math has grown with it.

After teaching at a relatively small all-girls school outside of Washington, D.C., Smith commented on the benefits of working at a larger school, “The homecoming football game has been a highlight for me so far, we didn’t have that at my old school,” she enthused.

Like Smith, Kennedy also previously taught at a small school, teaching Gym, History, and Library. Going from teaching three different subjects to solely history is a nice change of pace for Kennedy, as is having his very own room.

Kennedy’s history and civic background runs in the family. When he was in middle school, his dad was elected as Congressman and their family traveled and took a trip out to Washington D.C. 

Kennedy had been hearing about PA for years; his cousins went to the school right as it opened, and many Providence alums were in his college classes. He had always loved working with kids, whether as a camp counselor or teaching during his study abroad in Spain. So, after two years in business, Kennedy decided to switch careers and teach.

Kennedy poses with his prized world map.

Contrary to popular belief that teachers live at school, Kennedy spends most weekends watching soccer, cheering on the Green Bay Packers, or around a campfire with his family. 

Though to road to PA looked different for these three new faculty, one thing they all agree on is how great the other teachers and students are here. 

Smith noted with gratitude, “[Providence] has a strong foundation of faith and strives to teach its students how to think about the world around them”.