By Jenny Shen ’23
The Student Center is always one of the top hangout spots on campus, where students watch movies, play ping pong, or enjoy a game of pool. When having a great time with our friends, perhaps, many people, including myself, have wondered: what is behind that door to the right of the pool table?
This year, it’s Mrs.Roche’s office. That’s Roche, with a hard CH.
Mrs. Roche worked as a paraprofessional in a high school in Woodbury for nine years before coming to the Frederick Gunn School. After researching all the qualities that our school is looking for and the core values here, she decided to see if there were any positions. She decided she would love to work here, saying “It just seems like an amazing high school.” She was really excited to start working here.
Helping students is just something that Mrs.Roche loves to do. This is why she picked the position of Student Support Coordinator despite her bachelor’s degree in business management and communication.
Mrs. Roche said, “My true love is working in a school.”
Her most memorable moment at FGS was the all-school walk. “I enjoyed it so much and I got to speak with so many kids on the walk in such a short amount of time, and they were so welcoming and open. It was a really great experience for me.”
During her free time, Mrs. Roche enjoys kayaking, reading, and spending time with her family. In reading, she loves young adult books because she feels like they don’t follow a formula. “You never really know the ending of any characters,” she remarked. Currently, her favorite book is A Gentleman In Moscow. It’s about a gentleman in Moscow and his life when Russia was experiencing a political evolution. “I love it when a book takes you through someone’s life, that’s why I love reading biographies as well.” Her favorite biographical author is Sarah Vowell. “She writes kind of with a sharp edge, but she does really wonderful books about American history and culture.”
What’s fascinating about Mrs. Roche is that she also loves to act in plays. In past years, she did community theater in Woodbury and she grew up singing in little places on Long Island. Mrs.Roche’s favorite role is Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa. “It was a very intense experience, there was a lot to learn, but it was such a rich role and I absolutely adored it. My favorite part was when I came off the stage the first night that [my] kids saw me, they were looking at me with a whole new face. It was so exciting for me because you could see clearly on their faces: WOW mom, that was awesome!”
Moving on, in her experience at FGS, Mrs. Roche said, “I really look forward to coming in every day and getting to know more of the kids.”
At the end of our conversation Mrs. Roche left us with one last piece of advice. “Being true to yourself is really ok. Even though high school feels like forever, it’s really just a short period of time. There are so many people here to support you, please use this time to reach out to them when you need to.”
Welcome to FGS Mrs. Roche!