The Ensworth Grind

Meet Middle School math wizard and new Ensworth parent Melissa Fogaros. Read about all the reasons she thinks Ensworth is such a special place.



What do you find to be the most challenging math concept for Middle School students to understand, what would you say is your favorite to teach?

Teaching plane and solid geometry to my 6th grade honors group is the most difficult for me. Spatial visualization isn’t something that can be easily taught, so for a lot of students, geometry can be much harder than other topics. It takes a lot of arm-waving and touching of pyramids and prisms for some students to “see” a solid object well enough to count its faces or to apply formulas to it. On the flip-side, it can also be a lot of fun since it is more manipulative than some other content.

My favorite thing to teach is multiplying and factoring polynomials, in 8th grade Algebra I. I think a large part of this is that it is a completely new concept to eighth graders, so they are fascinated by the abstract nature of all of the letters and exponents. It is quite satisfying for them when they finally figure it out. The best moments in class are those types of “a-ha” moments.

Tell us what it has been like to be not only an Ensworth teacher, but now an Ensworth parent?

Being an Ensworth parent has made me feel like a real insider! It has been an especially wonderful treat for me, as an 8th grade advisor, because the 8th grade and the pre-first grade share several activities throughout the year. I feel more connected to the traditions, now that my daughter is involved, and I have a great excuse to stay on campus for games and events, since she wants to see them, too.  I already had a great pride in our faculty, but now that Reese is actually in one of my colleague’s classes, I know she could not be in a better place. Her experience at Ensworth has been magical, and I feel so grateful for both of us to be a part of this group.

 What’s the last book you read?

‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue. I was a sociology minor in college, so I tend to gravitate toward books about different life situations or people dealing with or overcoming traumatic events. This was a book written from the perspective of a five-year-old boy who was born of a mother who had been abducted when she was 19 years old. It is similar to the story of Jaycee Dugard, but fiction, and the boy has no idea he is being hidden – he thinks the whole world exists in the one room in which he lives. I really enjoyed the story.

If you could be a fly on the wall in any Ensworth classroom which one would it be and why?

I would want to see Chris Champion teach math. I often have his alums in my 6th grade honors class, and his name comes up almost daily, as students recall things they know about past math they have learned. His students really respect him and learn so much from him, and he so obviously loves what he does. I would be interested in seeing him at work – especially during his “Math Races.”

What’s your favorite Ensworth tradition that you look forward to every year?

As an 8th grade advisor, Pancake Breakfast will always have a special place in my heart. Even during the years that I was the faculty liaison and had to arrive at school at 2:45 a.m., it was worth it to me to be a part of such a great bonding experience for the 8th graders, as well as a true community-building event for all of us. I cannot overstate how much I appreciate seeing students from past years in attendance each year; I am so glad that we have such a strong bond with our alumni.

 Who is the next Faculty member at EHS you would like to see featured?

If they haven’t already been featured, I would love to learn more about Kerry Bauchiero or Eva Lea. At our February teacher in-service, teachers from the lower and middle schools sat in on classes taught by EHS teachers and vice versa. I was already out of my comfort zone when I signed up for Spanish, but Eva and Kerry were masters at keeping our group involved, having a good time, and learning. I did not take any Spanish in school, but I actually have a small arsenal of Spanish conversational phrases, now, at my disposal (from one, short class)! They did such a great job of teaching our group that I would love to see them in action with the EHS students.

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