Verbatim Interview: Ms.Costello


Raechel Park, Head Editor

For students who take Spanish, many had Senorita Costello during freshman year. Some had her for two or three years, and a handful had her for all four years. Luckily, I took her classes my freshman and senior years and decided to sit down with her and ask her some questions, so that students and faculty could get to know her a bit better. 


The Eagle’s Cry: How long have you been teaching at Bethpage High School?


Ms. Costello: This is my ninth year in the district. I’ve been here long enough to see the freshmen I taught in my first year now graduating from college.


The Eagle’s Cry: I notice you have an interest in learning more languages as you are teaching us. How long have you been interested in foreign languages?


Ms. Costello: I’ve been interested in languages all of my life. I remember as a little girl studying German and putting sticky notes all over the house to learn new vocabulary. It drove my mother crazy! I like languages because they are like puzzles: the more clues you have, the better you understand what people want to communicate to you. And languages influence each other, so if you study several, you can find all sorts of connections between them.


The Eagle’s Cry: Where would you like to travel around the world? 


Ms. Costello: I would like to spend more time in Québec. Not only can you practice French, but you are surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. I studied in a place called Chicoutimi–about two hours northeast of Québec City. You could smell the forest as soon as you got out of the car. 


The Eagle’s Cry: I notice that teaching styles have become a bit different with new restrictions due to Covid-19. What is one thing you miss doing that you can’t do now? 


Ms. Costello: Group work! Learning a language is about communication. My students have become Breakout Group champions, but I miss the days when they could move their desks together and easily work with their classmates.


The Eagle’s Cry: Where did you go to college? 


Ms. Costello:  College of William and Mary (Spanish / Sociology), University of Chicago (MS Spanish Literature), Loyola University Chicago (MS Education)


The Eagle’s Cry: If you could give advice to people pursuing in the international field, what would you like to say? 


Ms. Costello: I would say study as many languages as you can and stay up to date with the news. When I was younger, it was difficult to find out what was going on in other countries. Today we have access to daily newspapers and television shows, in any language imaginable. It’s a tremendous resource. Also, I would say go abroad to study if you can, although I think that’s great advice for people pursuing any field.


The Eagle’s Cry: What is your favorite TV show? 


Ms. Costello: I’m a huge fan of Netflix programming, especially in other languages. I very much like a series called Bir Başkadir, about women and community in Turkey. And I love crime dramas. I will always be happy watching an episode of Endeavor or Inspector Morse.


The Eagle’s Cry: I had you for two years and what I notice is that you seem to have a passion for pushing students toward achieving their best. What allows you to still have that motivation especially in difficult times like these? 


Ms. Costello: What a lovely question! I would say my students motivate me. I am so lucky to work with such amazing young people! Sometimes people say it must be hard working with high school students, but for me it’s a real privilege. With all of the changes this year, you all come in everyday ready to face any challenge I put in front of you. Masks, plastic barriers, and six-foot distances notwithstanding. The joy and interest my students share in class inspire me and drive me to do my very best.


The Eagle’s Cry: If you could teach any other language than you are teaching right now what would it be? 


Ms. Costello: Turkish! Or maybe German, but I’m still working on that one.


The Eagle’s Cry: What is your favorite candy? 


Ms. Costello: Anything with dark chocolate and peanut butter.