History Corner: Exploring Our Heritage

By Grace Wood, Copy Editor

A simple stroll down the hallway provides a fascinating look into the diversity of our teachers.. In celebration of Heritage Night, teachers have hung posters outside their doors that display their heritage roots. These posters indicate of Falls Church’s diversity and prove to be conversation starters about where our teachers come from.

“My fifth great grandfather signed the Declaration of Independence,” says Mrs. Janet Napoliello. Thomas Mckean was a delegate to the Continental Congress and served as President of Delaware and Chief Justice of Pennsylvania. “In a time with so much diversity, it’s pretty cool to know my family has been here since the beginning.”

With a heritage of British and Native American, Mr. Charles Cottrell’s family has also lived here for an extremely long time. In fact, his step-mother is a Cherokee National Treasure in basket-weaving.

While other families have immigrated to the U.S. rather recently. Mr. Anthony Halteh left Palestine when he was three, and he brought his love of Palestinian culture, language, and food with him. “We eat stuffed squash, grape leaves, and Taboulé,” says Mr. Halteh. “I was eating hummus at home before it was ever sold in grocery stores here.”

Mrs. Francesca Mast also expresses her family’s love for delicious cuisine. “My dad is Argentinian and my mother is Danish,” she says. “So, it makes for an interesting combination of steak, empanadas, and Danish pastries.”

Mrs. Liz Cannon’s ancestors moved from Lithuania to Michigan where they started a special social club for Lithuanians. “Lithuanians are well known for being good at basketball,” says Mrs. Cannon. “Unfortunately, I do not share that trait.” At 5’8”, Mrs. Cannon does not follow her family’s tradition of immense heights.

Mr. Peter Lake was born in Chile and takes great pride in all that his culture has to offer. “We have great seafood, beef,  and lamb,” says Mr. Lake. But, he also wants to clear up one confusion about his country. “Chileans do not eat chili!”