Ms. Cuscina, Italian teacher, says ciao


Ms. Cuscina, center, at her retirement party at North

Vinny Piatti, Staff Writer

South world language teacher Anna Maisano-Cuscina will be retiring at the end of the 2020-21 school year. Cuscina has been a beloved teacher in Middletown for the better part of her 35-year teaching career. She began at a Long Island school district, before transferring to Middletown High School North. She was at North for 28 years before coming to South in 2018. 

Cuscina realized that she wanted to become a teacher because of her own culture. 

My ability in languages is a gift.  Growing up in an Italian-speaking home gave me a facility in learning other romance languages,” stated Cuscina. “I began studying French in high school and Spanish in college. I was assigned to teach my first class as a graduate student at Rutgers University, and found that I enjoyed teaching and was successful at it.” Cuscina later stated that she worked in the business world for several years, but ultimately became a teacher as she found it more rewarding.  Cuscina attended Rutgers University, after her parents were hesitant to allow her to go. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature.

Cuscina stated that she has had lots of fun memories of teaching languages over the years of her career. “My favorite memories of teaching are all the wonderful field trips I have led over the years to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Opera and Little Italy among them,” she explained. “I also chaperoned 3 student trips to Italy over the years, the most recent in 2017 with both HSN and HSS students.” 

Cuscina stated that the most rewarding part of teaching a language is that “by teaching a foreign language you also teach about the country’s culture and civilization. I have enjoyed sharing my experiences in Italy, France, Spain and Argentina with my students. Every culture has a beauty of its own and in these times especially Americans need to be aware of other cultures and respect them.” She also said that her advice for future teachers is “to teach what you love!  There will be many challenges along the way, but it will be worth it if you enjoy what you do.”

As for her plans for after her retirement, Cuscina has many: “During retirement I hope to be able to travel abroad with my husband–I have a gypsy soul–and we hope to find a second home in Italy!  I will continue to teach privately or at the college level on a part-time basis.  I also hope to volunteer in NYC at the Metropolitan Museum, the Metropolitan Opera, and for my church.” Middletown will no doubt miss Ms. Cuscina!