New math teacher Mr. Nicholas Marchio backflips his way into the Seabury Hall community.

Veronica Winham, Assistant Editor

Former cheerleader Nicholas Marchio looks forward to bringing his excitement to the Seabury Hall math department and his smiley face variables to the classroom this upcoming school year.

This year, Marchio will be teaching Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and AP Calculus. He is also a sophomore advisor.

Marchio is new not only to Seabury Hall, but also to Hawaii. Prior to coming to Maui this summer, Marchio moved around with his family among Nebraska, Florida, California, and Nevada, before settling in Virginia where he attended high school at Stone Bridge High School and college at Virginia Tech University.

After receiving receiving his bachelors in mathematics and masters in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech, Marchio returned to Stone Bridge where he taught math for ten years and coached a state-championship cheerleading team for eight.

“When it comes down to the types of students, it reminds me of Seabury a lot,” Marchio said. While he talked about the similar types of students at each, he mentioned the fact that the campus environments are very different, Stone Bridge being public, and Seabury Hall being private.

“I’d been teaching at public school for ten years, and I kind of got into a rut of doing the same thing over and over again. I wanted to do something different,” Marchio said.

To “do something different,” Marchio applied to Seabury Hall, got the job, and moved to Maui. He has only been on island for a month and said, “I think the views are what sends me over the top every time. It’s amazing to look one way to a mountain and the other way to the ocean. It’s the best stress reliever.”

Marchio believes that this view is needed to alleviate the difficulty of both learning and teaching math. “I love teaching, and math is a subject most people don’t like,” he commented.

Marchio was most surprised with how welcoming his AP Calculus students were with him, and said of them, “to come into an AP class and not know who the teacher was… they’re so comfortable asking questions and they let me in right away.”

“You’re not afraid to ask him questions,” agreed Brandon Barreno, a senior in AP Calculus. “He takes the time to go through every single problem he assigns us.”

“Instead of writing X’s, he’ll put smiley faces,” Barreno added. “They’re easier to understand because when you have letters mixed in with numbers, it’s so confusing. When he puts in a smiley face or a fish, it’s really obvious that the variable is not actually part of the base of the equation.”

It’s not just the students at Seabury that Marchio is looking forward to being around. He spoke positively about his colleagues, saying, “I’ve never been in a department that has so many people so excited about math, and I’ve worked in big departments.”

“I think he brings energy and new ideas to help students learn math,” said Mr. Sean Wilson, head of the math department, about Marchio.

“I wasn’t a good math student, and that makes me a good teacher, because when students don’t understand it, I usually know why they don’t, because that was me in the classroom,” admitted Marchio.

Barreno touched on this, saying, “Mr. Marchio’s different because he himself was a bad math student in high school, and because of that he really learned how to explain effectively how things work, how formulas work.”

“Everything that you do in life, you’re going to have to follow directions of some sort, and to teach math is a puzzle, and it shows perseverance. It’s more that you understand how to use something and know how to apply it,” said Marchio.

His wife also teaches math, and Barreno mentioned that she comes in after school some days to help her husband with his lesson plans.

Outside of the classroom, Marchio and his wife are still looking for activities to do on island. “We’ve gone on a couple different hikes and tried to go to the beach as much as possible and explore. I think that’s what made us want to come to a place like Maui. There’s so much to do outside, and it’s all free,” Marchio said.

Maybe one day in the future Marchio will introduce cheerleading here as a sport, but until then he is sharing his unique teaching style of “taking math back to the time it was fun” and his smiley face variables with Seabury Hall.