Q: What is your position here at Marc Garneau?
A: I am a vice-principal, one of three, and I am in charge of the Grade 12s.
Q: How long have you been here?
A: I have been here since semester two of 2010.
Q: It’s my understanding that this is your last year. Is there any particular reason why you’re leaving?
A: I am taking what is called a 4/5, and basically what that is is a program that any TDSB employee can apply for. It’s where they have a percentage of your salary deducted every year, up to the fifth year, where you then take the year off, and then they get those percentages over the four years for the year off. So, I believe its 20 percent every year off your salary, and so then you get 80% of your pay for the last year.
Q: What’s the funniest incident you’ve experienced during your time here?
A: I don’t know if there is anything funny, especially in the office where it’s always drama, right? But there’s probably one incident that I will remember, because I’ve had these 12s for the whole four years. I remember a particular event where we had a few grade 9 students trying to sneak in alcohol during the Athletic Banquet. And when they discovered we were checking bags, they decided to drink up the stuff and throw away the bottles, and of course got sick during the banquet. Not funny, but as a result of that incident, I will remember the names of those kids forever. It was just something that I thought was pretty typical of kids trying to get away with stuff and not realizing that they need to learn handle their liquor first before they drink it.
Q: If you could be any teacher in this school, who would it be?
A: If I could be any teacher in this school? I think I would like to be Mr. van Bemmel, because I have absolutely no clue about physics. And I think I would like to have all that knowledge just to see what it’s like to be that smart. Because I think it’s pretty awesome what he teaches, and he does the earth and space science course, and he does the AP physics, and he is an author of many textbooks. And I think that for a day, just to see what goes on in that head of his, would be kind of cool.
Q: What was your least favorite subject in school?
A: My least favorite subject in school, in high school especially, was geography. It’s hard to make it interesting. My teacher did not make it interesting.
Q: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
A: My guilty pleasure is buying a bag of sweet and spicy jalapeno chips and eating those while I watch TV. That’s a guilty pleasure for me.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: My favorite food is a regional dish, it’s called polenta. And you can make it any way, any day, and it’s like a carby… not like couscous, because couscous you can break it up… but this stuff is very dense and it just melts together, and you can add in whatever you want in it to make it really tasty, and you can put sauce on it. It’s like a pasta, but it congeals.
Q: If you had to choose a restaurant in the plaza next door, what would it be?
A: One restaurant in the area? Its Bamian kabobs, and they make the best, best stuff. Everybody, I think all the admin, love that place. Its really good food.
Q: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
A: To make things better for people.
Q: Do you have any pets?
A: I have a cat. Her name is winter, and she’s six.
Q: Does she like winter?
A: No she doesn’t. She doesn’t like anything wet, including snow.
Q: What’s your favorite song?
A: My absolute favorite song is by Maroon 5, and it’s Sugar. Yes, I love that song.
Q: If there’s one aspect of Marc Garneau that you’re going to miss especially, what would it be?
A: I’m going to miss the kids. Because Garneau kids are great. They’re special kids in the sense that this is truly a community school, where everybody knows everybody. And all the kids live within walking distance of the school, so there’s really a sense of a community here. I’ll miss that aspect of it.
Q: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
A: Only that it’s been a great run, and my advice to people is that, you should – even though change is uncomfortable for you, which it is for me – that you should try to take the plunge and do something new every so often. Don’t get stuck in a rut. And that’s not why I’m taking the year off; it was just on the advice of a friend of mine, who said you had to experience at least once in your life to have time off and get paid for it, even though you sacrifice part of your pay to do it. I think it’s going to be an interesting year for me.
Q: If there is one crazy new thing that you would want to do, as you mentioned before…
A: What I would want to do that is completely crazy? Some people might think that this is crazy, but any job in the arts is always a job that isn’t very well paid. I’d like to maybe one day have a career in music, either teaching music, or having a studio, or giving lessons at home, doing something that is completely out of the norm in terms of a secure job. But my love for the arts has always been there and one day I’d like to take the plunge and maybe go into that path.
My name is Maria Karailiadis (Barbopoulos) and I was one of the students in Miss Mazzaferro’s very first music class (Albert Campbell C.I., Grade 9). I am now 37, a teacher in the TDSB and a mother of 4. I can still remember Miss Mazzaferro’s first day of teaching. I recall how pretty we all thought she was… she has the most delightful smile (she kept smiling, even through the horrific sounds of Gr. 9 instrumental music!!!)! She was always there for us and continually challenged us to do the best we could. I’m sure she’s an awesome VP as well. I sincerely hope that she is enjoying her 4 over 5. Cheers, Maria Karailiadis