New Chemistry teacher looks to share love of subject with her students

Phoebe Unzueta, Staff writer

This year St. Joseph has experienced a lot of change from rotating schedules to freshmen getting laptops, but none is more important than the school’s newest additions to the staff. In the science department, there is a chemistry teacher that has an interesting past, Ms. Mary Kate Trausch.

Right after college the Arlington Heights Native did a year of volunteering. She then worked as a lab technician at Gatorade for a year and later the Illinois State Police as a forensic scientist trainee for another year. After all of this, she finally decided to get her certification and become a teacher.

For the past six years, this Pottermore certified Ravenclaw has been in the classroom. While earning her teaching license, she would substitute for all types of classes ranging from kindergarten to Spanish for two years. The last four have been spent an educator in her own classroom.

Even before all of this, a young Mary Kate had planned a different career path, engineering. When she became a junior in high school and began to study Physics, knowing that it would vital to becoming an engineer, she missed Chemistry. This would later prompt her to become a Chemistry Major in college.

Her chemistry major would help her get one of the most interesting jobs at Gatorade, “The people who came up with the new flavors would basically give me recipes and I would have to make big sample batches of it. We would also do shelf life studies to see how the taste degraded over time,” she explained.

Though her students may not be doing anything like this, she hopes to teach them that chemistry can be fun. Especially when they are able to learn about acids and bases, “There is lab where you’re adding something that’s like pink to a whole bunch of different solutions and it can turn green, blue, and yellow. So I always get the woahs,” she said as she excitedly described the experiment.

Besides helping students gain a new love for chemistry, Trausch looks forward to putting her own mark on the school. She would like to begin a Scholastic Bowl Team for the school, which would be part of the Illinois High School Association.

It is high paced is St. Joe’s with rotating schedules, 45 minute classes, and 4 minute  passing periods, but Ms. Trausch seems to have adjusted well. All she needs to do still get her Ravenclaw status certified by Mr. Zitzer.