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Mrs. DeVille? Where is Ms. Timoney?!

Are you curious who Mrs. Deville really is and where Ms. Timoney went? Let's find out.

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Mrs. DeVille? Where is Ms. Timoney?!

Sara Hearing, SMA Life Department Writer

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Coming back to school after summer break, I had a lot of questions for the new Mrs. DeVille. Ms. Timoney has been known as a CMS leader, a retreat coordinator, T-Money, and more. I wanted to know if Mrs. DeVille would be as great as Ms. Timoney was. Spoiler alert: she is still great, maybe even better than before.

Mrs. DeVille is a St. Mary’s graduate of 2009 and has been working here for three years now. When I asked her what drew her back to SMA, she said:

I was working in Jersey for a while, basically like a students’ activities coordinator, so kind of like Michelle Taylor’s job, and I really wanted to do something similar, but I wanted to start focusing in a ministry context. Actually, my mom saw the listing and sent it to me, saying that she thought I would be perfect for this. I couldn’t think of a better job to apply for at home so that’s kind of what brought me back!”

Mrs. DeVille was voted Most Likely to Work at SMA! I guess they were right.

Wanting to know what the awe-inspiring Mrs. DeVille does in her spare time, I asked her what she liked to do outside of school.

“I love spending time with my family and running. I love to run. I did not love running until college, and then I fell know in love with it. But I hated it before that.”

Same, Mrs. DeVille. Sorry, Ms. Brooks…

When Mrs. DeVille was attending St. Mary’s she took Strength and Conditioning with our own Ms. Whitty, with Coach Gabbert no less! However, her favorite memories from St. Mary’s were from her basketball days during freshman and sophomore year.

“I think one of my favorite things that I was a part of at St. Mary’s was actually being a part of the basketball program. I only played my freshman and sophomore year, but I really loved my team. I really loved my coaches, Falisha was actually my coach sophomore year. So very small world. But I just still have friends from that program and I loved being a part of it.”

Mrs. DeVille’s sophomore year basketball team with Coach Falisha!

Now that she’s finally back where she belongs, working at St. Mary’s for the past three years, she has a new position! I wanted to know what exactly her new job was and what she would be doing and how it was different from her previous position.

“Technically, now I am the director of retreats and Campus Ministry. I am now officially part of the Theology faculty. I have freshman this fall and seniors in the spring! So, I am so excited for fall! I love the freshman because I get that first year experience and I know a lot about Freshman Immersion from my old position and then to have seniors in the spring before they go off to college just seems very fitting to me. I was really ready to go from St. Mary’s, to leave and go on to my next thing, but I have a lot of fond memories from being a senior. So it’s very perfect to have the book ends.”

Mrs. DeVille’s freshman yearbook photo

Mrs. DeVille’s senior yearbook photo

Talking to Mrs. DeVille, I learned how excited she was both to teach and to assume an important role in coordinating retreats.

“The teaching is a huge change, but being in charge of the retreats is very different process than just supporting them. I do things like coordinate bus schedules and I coordinate sign-ups and permission forms, and also dietary concerns and reservations at the retreat site. So, all of those things are really different as well as my responsibility for holding culture is similar to last year, but different in that the responsibility is a little bit greater than it was before. Retreats are a really big part of culture at St. Mary’s and so the responsibility to hold that space for students feels a lot more important than it was before.”

I, for one, am very excited to see her coordinating retreats, especially Metanoia, but am also very excited to have her for my religion teacher second semester. So, I wanted to know a little bit about her teaching style as a new teacher.

“What I think I want students to know about my teaching style is that I would like to promote a culture of mutual respect in my classroom, so I come in to my teaching experience respecting and loving my students and really just expect the same in exchange. Open-mindedness—that’s where my style really comes from. I’m pretty relaxed in a lot of ways, but that’s something I really look for. In terms of teaching religion in general, I really value my Catholic roots, but I went through a very strong period of questioning when I was in high school, through college really. That is what I’m hoping students come in doing in my classroom. I want them to be asking questions and wondering ‘hey I believe this’ or ‘why don’t I believe this’ and ‘what can I learn from my peers in this class.’”

Mrs. DeVille collects papers from her second block Freshman Theology class.

At this point in the interview, I switched gears to learn more about what makes Mrs. DeVille, Mrs. DeVille. I ask her what he favorite memory was as a child, because who doesn’t want to know what Mrs. DeVille was like as a child?

“Let’s see… I thought about this question a lot when I read it because I am just so blessed that my childhood was so awesome! But one of my favorite memories is my cousins and I used to ride our bikes to our grandparents’ house when we were little. We would meet there and we would make cinnamon rolls and we all lived on the opposite sides of their house and [my grandparents] lived right in the middle and it is just a really warm memory for me to doing that over and over again when we were little between eight and twelve.”

So cute! If you didn’t know, Mrs. DeVille got married over the summer on August 5th. When asked to soeak about her favorite part of the wedding, she responded,

“Oh my gosh. I don’t think I can pick a favorite part. It was just more wonderful that I ever expected it to be. But, that moment when we realized ‘We’re married! We did it!’ That was really special. All the planning, all the preparation, and walking back down the aisle after the mass was over I was like. ‘We did it! We’re done! We’re married!’ And that was just so incredible.”

Finally married, Mrs. DeVille and her new husband walk back down the aisle!

At her wedding, Mrs. DeVille invited some of our own SMA students to share in the momentous occasion! I thought having students at your wedding could be a bit awkward, so I wanted to see how she felt having them there.

“I loved it. I was a little hesitant first to be a part of that whole process. My cousin had done the same thing at her wedding and obviously she didn’t work here, so it was a slightly different scenario. But, it felt so special sharing in this sacrament with students and having them be there for this process. It really cemented the idea that St. Mary’s is home for me. Students can learn about academics, but also just life and what it looks like to live and be happy, find what makes you happy in life. I was surprised at how wonderful it was. But, it was just wonderful. And everyone was like, ‘Your students are so great!’ And I was like, ‘I know!’”

During her wedding reception, Mrs. DeVille takes a moment to pose for a picture with the St. Mary’s students (Left to right: Monica Daschel, Kara D’Ascenzo, Mrs. DeVille, Avery Tunstill, Caroline Houser) that were able to attend her wedding.

Ever since I learned that Mrs. DeVille changed her last name after her wedding, I wanted to understand why she made that choice, as I have been thinking much about what I will do when I get married myself.

“My husband and I talked about it for a long time and I have actually hyphenated my last name legally. And that is because for twenty-six years, I have been a Timoney and I didn’t want to lose that part of my life. So, I still have that and it is still a very dear part of me, but I want to be able to share in the same family name as my future kids. So Greg, my husband, and I decided that if I could hyphenate my last name then our whole family could share a common last name and I could still honor the name I grew up with my whole life. So, I have both now. And, my mom has a hyphenated last name and I think my mom is kind of the best person ever. I took a page out of her book and that drove her decision as well to a similar idea. She has always been a Ray and she always wanted to keep that. I will say, it is already a pain in the booty to have a hyphenated last name. It really is, but I still think it is worth it. Everyone said it’s going to be so hard, and don’t do it, but I am still so happy with my decision.”

Finally, to wrap up this interview with Mrs. DeVille, I wanted to know what she excited for this coming year.

“I am most excited for the relationships that I’m going to continue to grow with students. I never understood the student-to-student relationships as much as I had just in the first six weeks of school this year as a teacher. And to be able to be with seniors at the end of their St. Mary’s career, and with a group I feel really connected with. I love the senior class, and I am so excited for second semester to be with the seniors! And to watch the frosh go from their first semester to what they will be our second semester. I’m really excited because we have such a great group of freshman. I love teaching them and by May it’s going to be incredible to watch them. So, I don’t know…that’s a lot of things, but it’s a really good year!”

You heard it here first. Mrs. DeVille is exactly the same person as she was last year, no matter the name change. Except her new husband. And her new job. But, besides that she’s totally the same and we all love her! Thank you so much Mrs. DeVille for letting me interview you!

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