Encouraging Kindness and Offering Support

Join us each Tuesday as we feature a short conversation with one of our exceptional faculty or staff members so that you can get to know a little bit about them.

Meet Middle School Science Teacher Christina Zaccagnino

Christina joined the middle school science team in 2019 and currently teaches sixth grade science. She is also a member of our instructional coaching team which provides support to all faculty members throughout the school year and leads the new hire cohort support program at EC. A New York native, she taught middle school science for three years at St. Bernadette Catholic Academy in Brooklyn, New York, where she introduced a range of school-wide professional development initiatives. These initiatives included renovating her classroom into a middle school science lab and spearheading the adoption of lab-based science curricula. Christina moved to the Pacific Northwest to pursue a Master of Education at the University of Washington, where her studies focused on science pedagogy, philosophy in education and instructional leadership.

Q: Tell us about a unique project you’ve worked on with students this year.  
Students loved using an Amplify simulation to build energy systems! They built complex systems with varying energy sources (sunlight, fuel, wind) to power light bulbs, music players, heaters and more. My students used their customized systems to explore energy transfers and conversions - all done virtually! 

Q: Do you have any holiday traditions? 
I love to set up an Advent wreath in my home. Each Sunday, I light a new candle and pray with an Advent reflection. I also make homemade hot chocolate and struffoli, a fried dough pastry with honey and sprinkles. It’s an Italian tradition in my family to eat struffoli around Christmas and Easter. 

Q: What are some words of advice you’d like to share with your students? 
I encourage students to be kind to themselves, ask for what they need and seek genuine connection with friends and family. 

Q: What activities do you enjoy in your spare time?
I like to spend my time bouldering, doing yoga, tap dancing and cooking. I have been trying to read more fiction lately, too! 

Q: What goals do you have for your students in 2021?
My biggest goal for this year is to continue building relationships and community among my students, whether virtually or in-person. I also hope to inspire students who haven’t loved science in the past to begin to find it fun and fascinating. 

If you have questions for Christina, you can reach her at czaccagnino@eastsidecatholic.org.

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