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Mary Theresa Cutajar English

Profile Updated: December 24, 2020
Class Year:
1975
Residing In:
Taylor, MI USA
Homepage:
Occupation:
Retired from Special Education, Music, Art and ESL Teacher
Martial Status:

Divorced

Children:

Elizabeth 1990 and Rachel 1992

What did you want to do or think you were going to do when you finished high school:

I thought I would be a "famous singer," a band director, or an art teacher, of which I did teach Art and Vocal Music K-12, as well as private instrumental students piano and woodwinds. I did not think I would like Special Education, but I needed to have a good paying job, after my divorce, so I went to school, while teaching for DPS. (That is Detroit Public Schools). I have had 5 editorials published in 2 newspapers (News Herald, MI and Lynchburg VA Gazette) on smoking in public, abortion, election issues, how to fix our roads, and the National Endowment for the Arts (the payment of funds for art like "Piss Christ.").

I received 2 Graduate Scholarships from Susan Edwards and the Knights of Columbus, for the 2 semesters when I took a Sabbatical. The Knights of Columbus get their resources from your donations for Children with Special Needs. Because of these resources and school loans, I was able to complete my Masters degree in 4 years, while working full-time. Plus the government forgave 1/2 of my loan, due to LD being a Critical Shortage area and Title One Schools.

Teaching is not really respected by the public. If only people knew how hard we work behind the scenes, day and night. It is mentally and physically draining, especially in this age of entitlement, with some parents acting like children, and some principals who have no principles.

I was joyful and honored to care for our mother full time for 2 years and 2 months. Now, I miss helping her, as I am retired. The most important and fulfilling job I ever did was raising my two daughters at home full-time until they were school age. I also homeschooled them for 2 years, and taught piano in my home studio, which was a lot of hard work but fun.

Still have family around Dearborn Heights:

Yes

Which Classmates are you still in touch with:

Mary Averill
Cathryn Bronson
Cindy Isabel
Sandy Slomzenski
Brian Kramer
Russ Petraca
Cindy Isabel
Georgina Farrugia
Gisele Sidor
Linda Neal
Rick Szuran
Bill Wacaster
Donna Pratesi
Todd Sheldon
Terri Shonk
Jeff Dziekan
Dean Tagglioli
Robert Vincent
Debbie Williams
Ann Rea
Peggy Dadou
Lisa Matheson
Kim Stanley
Ray Muscat
Frank Fenech
Jamie Bernarcik
Shirley Grech
Joan Sultana

Did you have any nicknames in school:

Theresa not Mary

What are your favorite memories of high school:

Marching Band, JV and Varsity Band, Choir, Art Club, Flag Corps, Musical performances of "Kiss Me Kate," National Honor Society, many Solo and Ensemble and MSBOA competitions. Looking back, we had a really good education, compared to many people that I know. Plus, we had more than most schools with a nice gymnasium, football field, tennis courts, swimming pool, art room with everything needed for basic art, pottery, jewelry, a music dept that was well equipped and an auditorium that was very beautiful, compared to all the ones I have ever seen. My brother learned his skill of auto mechanics and woodshop in our school. Drafting and science classes were also well equipped. Most of all, not one other school had a Planetarium. We were so lucky to have these features! I never realized how fortunate we were until I taught in other local districts as well as in Virginia. Crestwood offered a lot more than most students get today, except maybe in the more affluent districts.

Too bad the teachers had to work without a contract and lost their jobs in the process. This is why I warned Detroit Federation of Teachers presidents, so that this would never happen again. However, when a judge ordered us back to work in Detroit, they refused but had no consequences. I went back when ordered to do so, but I paid for it by being shunned by some colleagues and my tire was flattened in the school parking lot 2 or 3 times. I didn't want to get fired, as I didn't have tenure. Plus, my cousin was a Michigan Court of Appeals judge, and I was a single mom.

Favorite Teacher(s):

Doc Kimball, Mr. Claeys, Mrs. Harper, Mrs. Mooneyham, and Joe Ganz taught me life skills. Fine Arts: Doug and Stanley Roose, Mrs. Wachowski and Ms. Messner appreciated my talents in the fine arts. .

My Secret Crush:

That's why it's a secret 😉.

What street(s) did you live on in the Heights:

Nightingale

My Siblings:

Michael 1976
Toni (Antionette) 1977
Joseph 1981
Janet 1983

What other schools did you attend in Dearborn Heights:

Highview
St. Linus
Haston
Other: St. Brigid School and Noble School, Detroit. CCD classes at St. Linus.

Biggest thing you would do differently if you went back to your time at CHS:

I have no regrets but I would have asked someone special to the Senior Prom. Also, I would have taken more math and sciences to become an Elementary teacher or a nurse.

What are your worst memories of high school:

I didn't go to Senior Prom, and my best friend was very upset that we didn't get to go. Also, the long, long teacher strikes and seeing ourselves and our school on the national news report.

Favorite Song(s) from back in the day:

There were so many good songs in our era, that there's too many to list.

Favorite Group(s) or Artist(s) from back in the day:

Chicago and the Beach Boys who we saw at Pine Knob with Linda Neal. Carol King at Hill Auditorium with Don Dowd and Paul McCartney and Wings at Olympia Stadium with the Co-Valedictorian, Tom Joyner.

First concert you attended and location:

BTO and warm up band Bob Seger, at EMU with Mike Spiteri and my brother Michael. We almost were crushed by the glass door, by the pushing and shoving of the fans. We started to yell, and they finally stopped. We were so lucky not to have been hurt!

Comments:

Master's Degree in Teaching and took more credits to re-certify AGAIN = 252 college credits thus far. Just missed Permanent Teaching Certificate, by a year or two. Education is big business my friends. Every 5 years we must take 6 credits to recertify. Education is costly but so is ignorance.

Website Comments:

I really enjoy traveling and have been to San Diego, CA, Padre Island, Texas, Amelia Island, Kissemee, Fernandina Beach and Disney World, Florida; Charleston and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Scotland, Jamaica, Malta, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, Washington DC, Marrietta, Georgia, West Virginia, Missouri, Vermont, and all over Michigan such as: Mackinac Island, Mackinac City, Higgins Lake, Houghton Lake, Traverse City, Indian River, Frankenmuth, Ludington, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Port Huron, Lexington, Palms Beach, Tawas City, etc.

Mary Theresa's Latest Interactions

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Dec
30
Dec 30, 2020 at 6:53 PM
Dec
24
Dec 24, 2020 at 2:34 AM
Dec
13
Dec 13, 2020 at 4:01 PM

So sorry to read this about Bruce.  He was a really nice guy and classmate.  I remember that he also played the alto clarinet in Band.  Deepest condolences and may our Lord bless his family during this difficult time.

Dec
12
Dec 12, 2020 at 5:44 AM

Hi Denise! Nice to see you on this site. Loved your photo. Hope all is well. Take care and God bless.

Dec
09
Dec 09, 2020 at 7:18 PM
Dec 09, 2020 at 2:32 AM

Hi Laura! Hope you and your family are doing well! Thank you for the kindness you showed to me whenever I came over to your home. Take care and stay safe. Sincerely, Theresa

Mary Theresa Cutajar English added a comment on her Profile. New comment added.
Dec 09, 2020 at 2:24 AM

Posted on: Dec 09, 2020 at 2:24 AM

Dec 09, 2020 at 2:16 AM

Mrs. Ullman was our National Honor Society sponsor.  She gave us applications and we were selected according to our grade point average as well as our extra curricular activities.  She had a candle lighting ceremony for our initiation into NHS.  She gave us a pin and that same symbol was placed on our high school diploma.  She had these gold satin sashes made for us to wear on our Graduation Day for the Commencement Ceremony.  I will always appreciate all the behind the scenes work that she did to encourage us, and to promote our National Honor Society.  She will be missed.  Deepest condolences to her family.

Dec 09, 2020 at 1:58 AM

Mr. Palahniuk was my driver's education teacher.  He was very patient with me, and told my Dad that I needed more practice.   I remember that he played guitar and he performed for a school assembly.  My brother Michael had him in Woodshop.  He also hung around the Art Dept., and if I remember right, he was the Department Head.  Deepest condolences to his family.  He will be missed.

Dec 09, 2020 at 1:51 AM

Dear Mrs. Porteus, Thank you for all of your time and dedication in your role as our Principals' Secretary. I worked briefly as a typist and a receptionist, so I can appreciate all the hard work you put into your job. Most of all, thank you for planning our wonderful Commencement Ceremonies. Your son Jeff was in the Bsnd with me, and I always appreciated his good sense of humor.

Dec
07
Dec 07, 2020 at 2:37 AM
Dec 07, 2020 at 2:28 AM

Happy early Birthday Frank!

Dec 07, 2020 at 1:17 AM
Dec 07, 2020 at 12:54 AM

I was so sorry to hear about Miss Weber's passing.   She was a wonderful teacher!  She taught me and so many others such an important skill and that of Typing, within looking at your hands.  Because of this skill that I attained in her class, I was able to work as a typist for Kelly Services, during the summer months while I was going to college or teaching.  Best of all, I was hired by Millwood Lumber to work as an Export Typist for Ford Motor Company at the Warehouse in Dearborn.  They offer offered me an opportunity to apply  to work for Ford Motor Company, but I chose to return to college to become a teacher. 

Ms. Weber always had a smile on her face and was very enthusiastic about her teaching.  She gave us timed tests which increased our speeds.  This helped me when I had to apply for temp jobs.  She also assisted with the book fair and encouraged me to get some good books.  Deepest condolences to her family.  She will be missed.

Dec 07, 2020 at 12:54 AM

I was so sorry to hear about Miss Weber's passing.   She was a wonderful teacher!  She taught me and so many others such an important skill and that of Typing, without looking at your hands.  Because of this skill that I attained in her class, I was able to work as a typist for Kelly Services, during the summer months while I was going to college or teaching.  Best of all, I was hired by Millwood Lumber to work as an Export Typist for Ford Motor Company at the Warehouse in Dearborn.  They offer offered me an opportunity to apply to work for Ford Motor Company, but I chose to return to college to become a teacher. 

Ms. Weber always had a smile on her face and was very enthusiastic about her teaching.  She gave us timed tests which increased our speeds.  This helped me when I had to apply for temp jobs.  She also assisted with the book fair and encouraged me to get some good books.  Deepest condolences to her family.  She will be missed.

Dec
06
Dec 06, 2020 at 6:33 AM

He looks like a professional model in that last photo!  He was a nice guy. I was so sorry to hear of his passing.  Deepest condolences to Sheila and family.

Dec 06, 2020 at 5:34 AM

Doug Roose died from an aneurysm of the heart.  His wife Mary was coming home from her work as a Social Worker, when she noticed an ambulance driving by, and she followed it to their door.  (She still lives in Howell, in the woods, on 10 acres of land ).  She thought it was her elderly mother who lived with them, but was shocked to find out it was her husband Doug, and that he had already died.  We were all shocked and there were long lines of people at the funeral home.  His children were still in school, except for Beth who was already married.  He also left Katie, Henry and Andrew.  Dale Marzewski was his Assistant Band Director, who eventually became the Head Band Director when Doug taught Middle School English.  Dale was instrumental ( no pun intended) in letting family and friends, like me, know of his passing.

I was blessed to have been part of his life and his bands.  I am still good friends with Mary Roose who has since remarried Dick Meyer.  I was invited to their children's graduation parties and their daughter Beth's wedding, as well as Mary and Dick's wedding.  Doug Roose encouraged me to switch from clarinet and take up the oboe to study, due to the need for good oboe players in Music Schools.  I sounded like a duck at first, and it took a couple years to become proficient.  My parents graciously provided me with oboe lessons from Ron Odmark, a Detroit Symphony Orchestra musician.   He also talked me into learning how to play the English Horn where he featured my playing in "Russian Christmas."  I tried out for a solo singing part in the musical "Kiss Me Kate " and he was pleasantly surprised at my vocal skills.  Finally,  our Senior year, he selected the piece "The Italian  (Girl) in Algiers" for us to play for our last concert.    He featured my oboe playing as a soloist, to perform the part of the Italian Girl, as well as 2 other Seniors on flute and clarinet.  It was a wonderful performance, as they all were.  He always brought out the best in us and because of the way he treated us, we always met the challenge.  He also began the Flag Corps and guess who performed in that as well?  Yes, we had great times in Marching Band, Junior Varsity Band and Varsity Band.

Everyone loved Mr. Douglas Roose.  He continues to be missed by his students, colleagues, friends and family.

Dec 06, 2020 at 4:39 AM

When I was a student at Haston and Crestwood, you were always dependable and dedicated. Thankfully I never had to come down to your office. Later, when I was a long term substitute art teacher at Crestwood, I wrote up a student with a disruptive behavior problem. I was surprised to get a phone call from the AP, to meet with you and the student, and you remembered me from 1975! I really appreciated your support in dealing with that discipline issue, and you also invited her father who gave her a stern warning in Italian. She ended up crying in your office. She had also threatened my younger sister, Janet Cutajar, who was a cheerleader. Whatever you said or did it worked and I had no more discipline problems teaching that term. Also, she left my sister alone. I only wish I had had that same amount of support throughout my teaching career, especially in Special Education. So many principals have no principles and treat the parents like customers, while the parents of disruptive students often act like children by enabling and not doing their job. Thank you for all you did to make our time at both Haston and Crestwood an enjoyable and safe place to learn and grow.

Dec 06, 2020 at 4:07 AM
Dec 06, 2020 at 3:56 AM

Mrs. Jaworski used to ride her bike to school when the weather permitted. She taught us to read and to understand "The Tale of Two Cities."  What a wonderful book and we had a small copy of the same at home, so I didn't have to bring home that cumbersome book, along with my instrument.  I loved her laugh and the twinkle in her eye!  She was always so positive. Once, during the last teacher strike, I stopped her in the front hall lobby, but she told me to move away from the front entrance because she wasn't supposed to be there.  In my naivete, I didn't understand then that she had crossed the picket line.

Later on, in 1983 or so, we met again but this time at the Dearborn Public Schools Adult Education Graduation.  Our Mother was graduating with her High School Diploma!   All five children were there and we were so proud of her accomplishment, since she never went to high school,  but attended a school for Seamstresses in Malta.  Most of all, Ann Jaworski was there and beaming with pride as she had been Mom's English teacher, as well as my brother Michael's teacher.  She had greatly influenced all of our English reading and writing skills with her joyous attitude.

I am sorry to learn that she has passed on.  Deepest condolences to her family.  She will be missed.

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Posted: Apr 20, 2017 at 9:35 PM
Elizabeth, Rachel and Theresa (Cutajar) English, at a wedding in 2013.


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