“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong. We are all connected.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ms. Arianna Cassar-Cruice is very excited to be teaching Theater I-IV at Chalmette High School. Ms. Cassar-Cruice grew up in St. Bernard Parish and is proud to be a product of the St. Bernard Parish Public School System. She believes that it is truly an honor to be teaching in the community and developing its students. Ms. Cassar is thrilled to be a part of the time honored system that helped to develop and shape her so much.
An honor graduate of Chalmette High School, Ms. Cassar attended Louisiana State University and the University of New Orleans. She graduated from UNO with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education and Teaching, and finished her education degree with a term of student teaching experience at Andrew Jackson Middle School.
Being a CHS graduate, Ms. Cassar-Cruice has firsthand experience with the climate and expectations affiliated with CHS. As a result, she wants to continually create that atmosphere and rigor in her classroom. She feels so blessed and proud to be back at her alma mater encouraging and giving students the tools they need to succeed. Also, Ms. Cassar-Cruice is a part of the National Council of Teachers of English; this organization helps teachers to stay up to date with the most modern, data driven methodologies in Secondary Education and links them in a nationwide professional learning community.
Ms. Cassar-Cruice identifies herself as a constructivist teacher. For those unfamiliar with this term, constructivism is the theory that students in the classroom create, build and construct knowledge out of active experiences. This pedagogic approach promotes: movement in the classroom, exploring information from multiple resources, reflecting on real life experiences and connecting various activities and methodologies to what students are learning in their core content subject areas.
For those of you out there familiar with the St. Bernard Parish Public School System, you may know that Ms. Cassar-Cruice is a part of a family of teachers. Try not to get confused with all of the Cassars on campus; she is one of many. Her entire immediate family is a part of the St. Bernard Parish Public School System. Her mother is a retired math teacher; her sister is the choir teacher, and her father is the Cultural Arts and Safe and Drug Free Schools Coordinator. Growing up in this environment, she has come to regard all of the faculty in this caring community as part of her family; so naturally, she is excited about joining the upper ranks of the best business team in the world, the faculty at Chalmette High School.
Also to Ms. Cassar-Cruice’s credit, she is a founding member of The Performing Arts Academy. This is an elite theatrical program that develops students’ abilities in the Dramatic Arts; this includes acting, music, vocal training, dancing, FX makeup, wiggery and technical theater. This is her fourteenth year serving as the program’s Artistic Director, Choreographer, Wig and Make-Up Designer. This summer marked her eighteenth anniversary with the program. Some of her directing highlights include Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Treasure Island, Peter Pan, Anything Goes, Shrek, the Musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Into the Woods, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and Once Upon a Mattress. She is the Artistic Director for CHS Voices: Chalmette High School’s Music Theatre and Vocal Arts Program and also serves as the Flight Choreographer for its Theatrical Flight Training Program affiliated with ZFX Flying Effects.
In addition to her directing credits, she is a skilled actor and singer. She has been a part of the musical theater scene since she was in second grade at Lacoste Elementary. Some of her experiences include Wendy in The Performing Arts Academy’s first production of Peter Pan, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Yvette in CHS Live’s Death on the Nile, Raphael in both the original and encore performances of A Night at the Inn by Tom Dugger, and in the starring role of Anna in The King and I.