A New Mission for this Marine: Teaching and Coaching

Marcos among 25 new faculty and staff members

By Hannah Duffy, Staff Writer


Mr. Marcos teaches English and coaches football (Cilento Photography/Special to The Seraphim)

An act of faith launched Mr. Pierre Marcos into education, which is ironic since the former United States Marine Corps member still lives by the corps motto:  semper fi, meaning “always faithful”.  Marcos, one of the newest Notre Dame Preparatory High School teachers, put his faith into an unexpected mission when he decided to become an English teacher.

“When I got out of the military after serving in the Marine Corps for 10 years, I applied to graduate schools, with the goal of joining some agency that would allow me to get criminals and terrorists off the streets,” said Marcos. “While I was sitting in a graduate class one evening, I had an epiphany. I realized that the best way to make a positive impact on society is not by chasing scumbags, but by inspiring others.”

Marcos inspires in the classroom, teaching writing and literature, and on the football field, teaching blocking and tackling.

He is among 25 new hires for the 2017-18 school year, including several new teachers, staff, and even a new principal, Mrs. Platt.

Before joining NDPHS, Marcos taught at Chaminade, a college preparatory school in Los Angeles. Currently, Marcos teaches English 4, English 3, and Speech and Debate.

Marcos is ecstatic about being a part of the NDPHS community, “I am so lucky to have landed here at NDP,” he said. “I bring a lot of passion and tenacity to what it is I do, so my goal is to let it be known to my students, athletes, and colleagues, my new NDP family—let my presence be felt.”

Mr. Pasquinelly teaches biology and anatomy (Cilento Photography/Special to The Seraphim)

Mr. Adam Pasquinelly, Honors Biology, Anatomy & Physiology and AP Biology teacher, also is among the new teachers. Pasquinelly is a University of Notre Dame graduate, who earned his Bachelors Degree in Biological Science and Anthropology.

Pasquinelly said, “My goal for this year is to become familiar with the NDP community, get my students excited about life science, and have a good time in Scottsdale.”

Prior to teaching job at NDPHS, Pasquinelly worked in a bioarchaeology research lab, where he studied ancient remains (some over 5000 years old). His future plans consist of pursuing his Ph.D. Outside of school, Pasquinelly loves to wakeboard, DJ, and spend time outdoors, hiking.

Formally the NDPHS Poms Coach from 2008-2012, Ms. Brie Dragonetti is the new Dean of Women and teaches one Stretching and Pilates class. After leaving the NDP community in 2012, Dragonetti coached numerous poms teams across the Valley.

When asked if she always wanted to be involved in education, Dragonetti said, “I always wanted to pursue dance, but I knew that I needed to do more with my life than major in Dance. There were three tracks I could choose as a dance major: Performance, Choreography or Education. I thought education would be the best choice because I have always loved coaching and wanted to be that coach and teacher that everyone would come to when they needed someone to talk to.”

Drangonetti re-entered NDP last year as a long-term sub for Mrs. Goudelis, while she was on maternity leave. Upon Goudelis’s return, Dragonetti remained on campus as a full-time substitute teacher.

Dragonetti is thrilled to be back at NDP.

Ms. Dragonetti, Dean of Women (Cilento Photography/Special to The Seraphim)

She said, “my goal is to make a positive connection with as many students and I can. I hope to be someone that the young women at NDP feel comfortable coming to whenever they need guidance or someone to talk to.”

A 2012 Purdue University graduate, Ms. Catherine Cohoat, is NDPHS’ s new Government and AP Government teacher. Cohoat chose to join the NDP community because it reminded her of the Catholic high school she attended. Prior to joining the Saints, Cohoat taught Middle School Social Studies at Holy Spirit, and later World History and Economics ,at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Indiana.

Cohoat said, “After not being in Catholic Education for two years, I realized how much I missed it and wanted to teach at a Catholic School.”

Her goal is to prepare seniors for college and provide them with a firm understanding of U.S. Government. Cohoat joined NDPHS not only a teacher, but also as the Junior Varsity Girls Soccer Coach. After school hours, Cohoat is busy playing with her dog, Lady, and planning her upcoming wedding in June 2018.

Assistant principal Jerry Zander believes the new additions are already making a difference.

“We have been extremely impressed with the new members of our community,” he said. “They are engaged in our community and care about the students.”

When asked what he looks for when hiring teachers and staff members,  Zander said, “The primary focus that we have when hiring any position is to hire for mission. We look to hire people that support our mission as a Catholic high school. The secondary focus would then be their expertise in their field.”


Miss Cohoat teaches U.S. government (Cilento Photography/Special to The Seraphim)