by Cori Hilsgen
Marisa Gaetz enjoys using her talents and knowledge to help other people learn and believes she can make a difference doing so.
Gaetz has tutored in her school’s Writing Center this year. She said it’s very rewarding to help other students improve their writing. She is also often asked math and physics questions, which she enjoys answering.
“It’s good to know I can make a person’s day better by helping them learn, even if it’s in a small way,” Gaetz said. “I’ve even considered becoming a math professor when I get older.”
Gaetz is the 17-year-old daughter of Rose and Rick Gaetz. She will be a senior at St. John’s Preparatory School next year. Gaetz has one brother – Christian, 21.
Fun Facts about Gaetz :
“Math is my favorite subject because I like that there is usually a single correct solution, but the process of getting there still requires creativity,” Gaetz said. “Also, I have been lucky enough to take advanced classes, so I have been exposed to many intriguing higher-level ideas. For the same reasons, I also really like physics.”
Activities you are involved with:
Gaetz has been involved in many activities including Knowledge Bowl, Soccer, Softball, Ping Pong Club, Jazz Band, Math Club, Prep Post Newspaper, National Honors Society, She’s the First and Chinese Club.
“Ping Pong Club is a club I recently started, and it has been a ton of fun,” she said.
Favorite leisure activity:
“I don’t have much free time nowadays, but I like to read, watch TV and play guitar,” Gaetz said.
Favorite movie: “Zoolander”
“I find it hilarious, and it’s a movie my family frequently watches and quotes,” she said.
“I like a variety of music, but some of my favorite bands/artists are Michael Jackson, Maroon 5, Matchbox Twenty and Death Cab for Cutie,” Gaetz said.
Favorite restaurant: Anton’s
“The food is delicious, especially the popovers,” she said. “Also, I’m related to the owners so my family goes their frequently.”
Any kind of noodles, especially those with parmesan.
Favorite thing you like to help other people do:
“I like to help other people learn,” Gaetz said. “I think helping other people learn is a good way to use my talents and knowledge to make a difference.”
“The only time I set the bar low is for limbo.”
-Michael Scott, “The Office”
What is one of the hardest obstacles you have had to overcome in the school environment?
“I’m currently participating in the International Baccalaureate program, which is pretty much one big obstacle,” Gaetz said. “It requires a lot of work, but I’m gaining a lot from it and I think it will be worth it.”
Did you have a teacher that has really influenced you?
“My physics teacher/Theory of Knowledge teacher/Knowledge Bowl coach, Mr. Charles Miller has really influenced me,” Gaetz said. “He has inspired my interest in physics and often encourages me to work hard and to take competition physics exams. This has caused me to want to improve my physics even beyond what is necessary for class. He has also helped make Knowledge Bowl a fantastic experience, coaching my team to a state victory last year. On a more personal level, he often offers constructive criticism and encouragement, guiding me in various endeavors.”
What is your favorite technology device? An iPad
“I like using iPads at school because it’s very convenient for textbooks and assignments,” she said. “We can also look up information at any time. They can often be distractions, but when used properly they are very effective tools.”
What social media options do you use?
“I frequently use Facebook, and I think it’s an enjoyable and convenient type of communication,” Gaetz said. “I have several group chats so I can easily talk to friends, and I even have some chats to discuss homework. I also ‘like’ several pages that supply me with science news or general news.”
What do you like most about your school?
“I feel a connection between the students and the faculty,” Gaetz said. “It seems we are all working together to achieve academic success. Teachers and students are all very approachable and encouraging.”
What do you think is the biggest challenge students face today?
“I think the biggest challenge for students is to stay motivated at school,” she said. “There are very many distractions and the workload of school can be exhausting.
What do you want to do when you graduate?
Gaetz plans to attend college.
“Currently my plan is to study math and take some classes in math-related fields so as to see what I’m most interested in,” she said.
Something unique about yourself:
“I’ve been to China twice in the last two years,” Gaetz said. “Both trips were great travel and educational experiences. I’m currently studying Chinese, so it was great to improve my speaking and comprehension skills while learning about the culture behind the language I’m learning.”
Gaetz was one of four students recently selected to serve as a junior marshal for the SJP graduation commencement ceremonies. Junior marshals are considered to be the top academic students of the class.
Share an experience you enjoyed in St. Joseph:
Gaetz said she has a friend who lives in downtown St. Joseph, and she and her friends were able to go to his house, sit on blankets on the grass and have an amazing view of the fireworks during the Joe Town Rocks celebration.
What do you like best about St. Joseph:
“What I like best about St. Joseph is I’ve gotten to know a lot of people living here,” Gaetz said. “This is noticeable when I walk into the Local Blend and am almost guaranteed to know someone.”