Alumna Profile: Nina Theofiles

Nina Theofiles
Nina Theofiles

I graduated in 2010 from Millersville University with my Bachelors of Science in English Education. While at Millersville, I was the News, Opinion, and Lifestyle editor for The Snapper. I switched majors my freshman year from Special Education to English Education after taking a Comparative Literature class with Dr. Carballo. After reading and discussing “Othello,” by William Shakespeare, I realized my love of English could not be contained and that teaching English was my true calling. Growing up, I was extremely dyslexic and struggled with reading during my elementary school days. After finding a love of writing in high school, I fostered my love of reading during my undergraduate program at Millersville.

Following graduation, I went on to be an English Teacher at Crispus Attucks YouthBuild Charter School in York City, PA for three years; I taught grades 10-12. I worked my way up to Department Head and helped students gain college scholarships and be ready for a career or continuing education. This experience helped me with my Masters of Education in English and Communications where my thesis focused on Narrative Writing and Urban Education; I graduated with this in the winter of 2014 from the University of Pittsburgh. While at CAYBCS, I presented at the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts Conference in 2010 with my Millersville professor, Dr. Timothy Shea. Also while at CAYBCS, my previous Millersville professor Dr. Aaron Porter came to present to my students. Millersville stayed with me wherever I went, and I promoted the school as much as I could because of the connections and experiences I had there. While at CAYBCS, I also held a position facilitating an after school/drug and alcohol prevention program through the Children’s Home of York called the Strengthening Families Program. I did this for 6 years and was a lead youth facilitator by the end of my term – I assisted my supervisor in training new staff and running new programs around York County.

Nina TheofilesI purchased my first home in 2014 and moved to the southern end of the state. During this move, I got a position teaching English and coordinating the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program in Baltimore County. I am in my fifth year at St. James Academy, and I enjoy teaching at this Episcopal Parish day school; I teach 7th and 8th grade English and I am a 6th-grade homeroom advisor. I am also approaching my fifth summer working at Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. I am a Senior Administrator here and have worked at residential sites in Haverford, PA, and Baltimore, MD, during the summer. I assist in running the sites, training staff, and overseeing summer classes. Most importantly, I use my English degree when reading 250+ student evaluations and editing them for content, spelling, etc. After I graduated from Millersville I began running a small, private tutoring operation assisting students in grades K-12 in reading, writing, math and SAT prep. Since before my time at Millersville and still today, I enjoy riding horses, reading, and exercising.

None of the experiences I have had in the eight years following my graduation from Millersville would have been possible without my degree in English. The English department challenged and pushed me to be a more critical thinker and learner; this helps me with students and helps me with staff. It also has made me more persistent and resilient; from the times I had the ever-challenging Shakespeare class to the experiences I had in linguistics, each class taught me something new while pushing me to the next level of inquiry. I teach my students the items I learned the best with the same passion my professors at Millersville taught them to me. My time with The Snapper makes creating my own newsletters in 7th grade English a fun goal for the students and an enjoyable experience for them to be involved in as a group.