Mrs. Demetriades Brings New Ideas and Energy to EHHS PE and Health Classes
PE and Health teacher Mrs. Tarra Demetriades brings her learning style and new ideas from EH elementary schools to EHHS this year. After graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with her bachelor's and master's degrees, Mrs. Demetriades started teaching in East Haven twenty two years ago. Since then, she has worked at the East Haven elementary schools of Tuttle, Hays, Overbrook, Ferrera, and Deer Run. This year, she began a new chapter working at EHHS.
When she was younger, Mrs. Demetriades always imagined herself working as a PE teacher. She says, “I always loved sports growing up and at the same time, loved working with children. I thought it would be the perfect career choice and I was definitely right.” Her inspiration for teaching also stemmed from the teachers she had as role models during elementary school. After being an elementary school teacher for a long time herself, she made the transition into teaching high school students. Along with teaching high school students for the first time, Mrs. Demetriades also started teaching health classes. After teaching both levels of students, she says, “In PE, my elementary students were full of energy. In Health class, my high school students are much more independent, but I have found that they also can bring the same energy and enthusiasm to class.” With these new classes, Mrs. Demetriades creates more involved lessons for her students, which is one of her favorite parts of teaching at EHHS. She says, “I am constantly trying to come up with hands-on activities, and my students have been great about accepting my new ideas.” Mrs. Demetriades also hopes to create class discussions that further the development of the Health curriculum at EHHS. Another PE and Health teacher, Mrs. Alexis Nacca, agrees and says Mrs. Demetriades already suggests plenty of new ideas to bring to their classes. Mrs. Nacca says, “She brings new ideas for health classes with different lessons and different ways of teaching. She utilizes up to date technology which gets all the kids involved.”
Since she has taught in EH elementary schools before, Mrs. Demetriades now has some of her old students at the high school level. She says, “I have had quite a few of my old students in my Health classes. It is amazing to see how they have grown! I love having them because I feel like we already have an immediate connection.”Students who have had her before also agree that they have a connection with her as well. Sophomore Ryan Maroney was even surprised that Ms. Demetriades remembered him after all of this time. Ryan says, “I didn't expect her to know me. It was nice to have someone I already knew from the past.” Similarly, Sophomore Ayvah Vincent remembers her personality from elementary school and says that she still keeps up the positivity. Ayavah mentions, “I do remember her and she does still have the same nice, positive personality as before which makes learning in class so much better.” Ryan and Ayvah also both agree that the learning environment in Mrs. Demetriades’ class is “fun, relaxing, and engaging.”
In her personal life, Mrs. Demetriades grew up in the Morris Cove area of New Haven and still resides there today. Her husband, Nick, is a firefighter, and they live together with their 13-year-old cat named Bonnie. Ms. Demetriades enjoys cooking, gardening, spending time at the beach and being a huge New York Yankees fan as she attends as many games as she can during the summertime. As for her future at EHHS, Mrs. Demetriades wants her students to remember that she cares. One of her favorite moments from her 22 years of teaching was when Tuttle elementary students invited her to their winter concert this past year. She states that this was such a “memorable and rewarding moment” for her as a teacher where her students remembered her and the fact that she cared. Mrs. Demetriades hopes to make more of these connections and says, “I hope I can impact my students in a positive way. Hopefully they realize that I am someone who listens and wants to make a difference."