Meet Sophia Maroulis, a dedicated 4th-grade assistant teacher at Hausner. Born and raised in Palo Alto, Sophia's passion for education started early, teaching her younger brother to write before Kindergarten. Now, she's helping Hausner students grow academically and fostering cultural awareness through bilingual education. Read this post to learn more about her journey and what she loves most about Hausner.
1. Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us about your background and experience?
I was born and raised in Palo Alto. I attended Escondido Elementary School, Greene Middle School, and Palo Alto High School and spent summers at the Kennolyn Camp in Santa Cruz, first as a camper, and then as a counselor. I went to Whitman College, where I studied history and played DIII lacrosse. ln May ‘23, I graduated from Whitman College with a Bachelors in History and returned to the Bay, where I began working at Hausner.
2. What is your role at Hausner and how long have you been here?
This is my first year at Hausner! I am a 4th grade assistant teacher and floater: I go wherever I am needed.
3. What inspired you to become a teacher/get into your line of work?
My first teaching stint was when I was eight and my younger brother, Sasha, was five years old. Months before Kindergarten, he could not hold a pencil correctly, let alone write his ABCs, and his preschool teacher wanted to hold him back a year. My parents bought an alphabet workbook and asked me to sit with Sasha. Every night for weeks, I taught Sasha to write. I loved seeing my brother’s shaky handwriting become more sure, and I loved deciding which racecar sticker to award him with at the end of every lesson. By the time Kindergarten rolled around, Sasha was writing at a first-grade level. At the time, I just thought I was playing teacher, but I saw firsthand the importance of early education and early childhood development. Since then, I honed my teaching skills as a teaching assistant in high school, a writing tutor in college, a summer camp counselor, and a history research intern designing historical curriculum.
4. What do you do when you’re not at work?
I spend time with my family and dogs, run, read, and write.
5. What do you think you would do if you weren’t a teacher?
I would be a historian or a history curriculum designer — in other words, still in education.
6. What do you love most about Hausner?
Having been raised in a bilingual home, I love that Hausner students learn English and Hebrew, and that I hear parents speaking with their kids in different languages in the morning and at pick-up. Bilingual education not only promotes cognitive development, it fosters much-needed empathy towards, and awareness of, other cultures.
7. What is your favorite Hebrew work or Jewish Holiday?
Although it is an unconventional choice, as a student of history, my favorite Jewish Holiday is Yom Kippur. The day provides great guidance for reflecting on the past and then moving forward as individuals and as a community.