Reflecting Forward: Student 75th Anniversary Essay; Capobianco’s Journey in Education

Professional headshot of Maria Capobianco- she is wearing a brown shirt and has shoulder length brown hair.
Anne Marie Capobianco, Class of 2010.

From hatching ducks in elementary school, to hatching chicks with her current first grade students, Anne Marie Capobianco relives many of the happy moments that made up her time at Colonie with a new generation of students. 

Capobianco graduated from Colonie Central High School in 2010, and now teaches first graders at Forest Park Elementary School. Despite always knowing that she wanted to be a teacher, Capobianco says her Colonie experience helped solidify her decision. 

At Colonie, Capobianco gained classroom and teaching experience through various courses such as Child Development and Each One Teach One. In addition, Capobianco credits many of her teachers for inspiring her to pursue education.

“In elementary school, Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Bushey, and Miss Powers nurtured my love for school at an early age,” says Capobianco.

Capobianco also highlights Mr. Kachadurian, a familiar face at Colonie today, as a standout teacher in high school who allowed her to feel prepared for college and life after high school. 

“My resume is still in the same format he taught us!” Capobianco says.

Despite school days then having a different look to how they do today, with flip phones and tote bags rather than backpacks being the norm, there are still various similarities between her experience and the experience of many students today. 

Among her most memorable experiences, Capobianco highlights being able to travel abroad during her senior year to Italy and Spain, enjoying Europe with teachers and friends. 

“I’ll never forget hanging out with Mr. Shafer and Mr. Backus yelling ‘Andiamo!’ as we toured different cities,” says Capobianco.

Additionally during high school, Capobianco had the ability to take advanced classes as well as courses for college credit.

Both of these opportunities are still available to Colonie students today, and Capobianco’s experiences display how despite changes over the years, there are still many aspects of the Colonie experience that have been maintained. 

After graduating from Colonie, Capobianco chose to major in Elementary Education at the College of Saint Rose, also completing her masters there.

While in college, Capobianco remained connected with Colonie, reaching out to teachers for her observation and contact hours. Capobianco describes the attitude of the teachers she reached out to as welcoming. She  even ended up student teaching at Shaker Road, where she had gone to elementary school. After graduating, Capobianco worked as a substitute teacher for Colonie. 

Capobianco ended up interviewing for a position in the district as an elementary teacher in 2017. When interviewing for her position at Colonie, she mentioned the impact of several teachers who contributed to the path she ended up taking. Since then, Capobianco has worked within the district, now, as a first grade teacher. 

The Colonie native spends her days teaching her students reading, writing, and math, but she also highlights how her students change over the course of the year. 

“It amazes me every year how much the students I receive in the fall learn and grow and become the students that move on to second grade in June,” says Capobianco. 

Capobianco credits her Colonie experience with allowing her to understand the Colonie community, and as a result, allowing her to build meaningful relationships with her students and their families. 

Capobianco describes the Colonie community as special, with the community being supportive and caring and always willing to reach out and help when someone is in need. She highlights how there are so many groups in the Colonie Community who are willing to give back, whether it’s local businesses, friends, or neighbors.

“I feel so honored to teach in the district I attended,” says Capobianco.

By Gabriella Kolodziej

About the Author:

Student headshot- she has a purple tshirt and long brown hair. She is wearing glasses and smiling.
Author, Gabriella Kolodziej.

Gabriella Kolodziej is a senior at Colonie Central High School. She loves to get involved in the school community, taking part in the school’s Math Club, Model UN and trivia team, Masterminds. After high school she plans to major in International Relations, pursuing a career in diplomacy. She has an over 900 day streak on Duolingo, studying French and Italian. She would love to one day travel to France.