Past Careers of Faculty – Not Just Jobs but Adventures

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

Mr. Randy Duplantis

Four score and seven years ago” (or maybe just one score), Mr. Duplantis served the city in the hospitality industry. The job included walking around New Orleans to assist tourists with directions, recommendations and any other questions they had about the city. Working in the hospitality industry required a vast understanding of the unique culture of the city of New Orleans, and that experience has benefited Mr. Duplantis in teaching history and civics at DHS. Conversely, he was able to have a better understanding of the history he teaches in the classroom through his experience working in the city. Working in the hospitality industry can put someone in some interesting and bizarre situations. “I once had to chase down a donkey because it broke loose from its carriage,” said Mr. Duplantis. “Just another day at the office I guess.”

Ms. Anjel Guitroz

Anjel the Science Bell

Not only does Ms. Guitroz know the anatomy of the human body, but she knows microorganisms, too. Ms. Guidtroz was also a research scientist with a focus in molecular biology and microbiology for the United States Department of Agriculture. Her research projects spanned from finding a cure for fungal infections in plants to developing biological means to eliminate termite populations. She did this for nearly 20 years until her journey brought her to DHS. “Working in research is like working in a problem. There is always some sort of problem that you need to solve, and I loved looking for those answers,” said Ms. Guitroz.

Ms. Kristin Thomas

To Relate or Not to Relate

Before reciting the tragedies of Shakespeare and preaching the importance of the Oxford comma, Ms. Thomas’s skills resided in public relations. With an English degree and her natural affinity for writing, Ms. Thomas worked for United Way, Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business and the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library. Ms. Thomas worked for these organizations in fundraising, event planning and media relations. During that time, she also developed interpersonal skills and a worldwide perspective that makes her teaching unique. “In my public relations work, I used my skill set to meet people from all walks of life and learned how to work with others,” said Ms. Thomas, “It gave me a life experience, which I bring into the classroom and share with my students.”

Mr. Frank Cusimano

Teacher by Day, Insurance Salesmen by Night

Mr. Cusimano sold insurance and worked in real estate for 26 years before becoming a teacher. Along with selling insurance, he worked in real estate management. After 26 years in the business, he wanted to go back to what he loved doing – teaching! His career in business taught him how to multitask in his teaching career. He teaches both religion and United States history. He brings his love of prayer and songs into both of his courses. Mr. Cusimano does not just teach at Dominican; he also is the coach of the Bowling Team. With his witty bowling jokes shared during announcements, Mr. Cusimano spreads his love for bowling to the entire Dominican student body.

Mr. Kenneth Lannes

Journey to Teaching

From building guitar amplifiers for celebrities to doing classified government work, Mr. Lannes incorporates his love for engineering into the classroom. Since middle school, Mr. Lannes set his sight on becoming an engineer. He began by working for some big companies including Texas Instruments, Northrop Grumman and ION Geophysical. Shortly into his career, Mr. Lannes did some classified government work to experience the security aspect of technology and to be exposed to the state-of-the-art material. Before making his way to Dominican, he started his teaching career as an adjunct professor at UNO and found his calling in teaching engineering. Besides teaching, one of his favorite professional experiences has been building guitar amplifiers and meeting celebrities like Randy Jackson, Steve Hackett and Clarence “Gate Mouth” Brown.

Ms. Claudia Vallejo

Reporting Live

The newspaper staff has a new journalist to introduce—Mrs. Claudia Vallejo! A Spanish teacher and Zumba instructor, Mrs. Vallejo also has a passion for writing. She had worked as a journalist in Columbia for two years before moving to the United States. Although she’s admittedly shy, she loves talking to people and getting to know everyone’s side of the story. She studied journalism, social communications in college, feeding her interest in issues of today’s society. She incorporates her journalism expertise into her Spanish IV AP class having her students to interview many Spanish speakers from around the world. Currently, she works independently at Viva Nola, a New Orleans and Hispanic magazine, and is in the process of writing a story on Amanda Shaw, a Latina Cajun singer.