New Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Marandi


       Mr. Marandi, the newest eighth and ninth grade history teacher, brings both his passion for music and his love of teaching to every lesson. When asked about his music, he will enthusiastically pull out his guitar and play for his students between lessons. As both an Upper School and Middle School teacher, as well as a recent performer in Seabury’s Got Talent, The Seabury Tides decided to interview him for our second edition of New Teacher Spotlight.

Q: Where did you grow up?

       A: I technically was born in Chicago and spent a year in Pennsylvania, but I consider myself to be from Southern California. I moved there at 3 years old for most of primary school and all of secondary and high school. I have many fond memories of my neighborhood and growing up there to this day.

Q: What made you decide to become a teacher?

       A: What made me want to teach is really a love of learning. Teaching, to me, is a profession where you’re always learning. Students share a lot on how they see events in history. That inspires me. I was fortunate to have a lot of teachers that I look up to, and I thought that it must be great to be up there and discuss a subject that they’re passionate about. I knew I wanted to teach History by my Freshman or Sophomore year. 

Q: What was your reason for moving to Maui?

       A: I actually had never predicted I would move here one day. I had assumed that I would stay in California and try to start teaching.. When I wanted to apply to a permanent profession, my friends encouraged me to new places, and I was surprised when I found out that Seabury was hiring, in Hawaii, for a position as a history teacher. I looked into it more, and I thought it would be an amazing learning experience. Teaching in a school in Hawaii made me think about how much I could learn from different teachers and history that I can only find here. I moved here just at the start of this school year.

Q: How long have you been a teacher?

       A: I’ve been teaching since the 2019- 2020 school year.  I got my history degree at UCLA and learned at UCI, and taught students in my own childhood high school district. I taught 12th-grade economics there. This year is my 3rd year teaching.

Q: What are some of your hobbies and interests?

       A: I enjoy listening to and playing music as well as classic movies and swimming.

Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?

       A: My favorite food is sushi and any seafood. Poke too. Any seafood is a consistent favorite.

Q: Who is your biggest role model?

       A: As a History Instructor, I have found Thurgood Marshall’s place in US History to be very inspiring. Certainly because of his tenure as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, but also his earlier years. He purportedly lived in and traveled through much of the American South at a time when there was immense intolerance and poverty but continued to impact and improve so many people’s lives. Thurgood Marshall has an inspiring legacy in American History. With February being Black History Month next month, I am also thinking of movie actor Sidney Poitier. Wonderful artist, rest peacefully.

Q: Do you have any closing thoughts?

       A: One thing that has been resonating with me in recent times is being more aware of saying “thank you”. I find it grounding and meaningful to just see the value in everyday things; someone pulling out to offer you their parking spot. Ushering in a moment of thanks really makes an impact. I’ve been thinking of a quote [Begins writing on the board]  by a Persian poet, Hafez: “Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” Hafez’ quote always reminds me to appreciate family and friends at face value and appreciate day to day circumstances. Sometimes we grow more when we make a choice to criticize ourselves less and see things as they are instead of hoping for or wanting more.