Teacher of the Week: Mrs. Beth Cannistraci


Fabria Brower

Mrs. Cannistraci in her classroom.

Its been a tough couple of years for everyone, especially teachers.  So each week the Eagle Eye will spotlight a TAHS teacher who has gone above and beyond to help students navigate high school during a global pandemic!  Congratulations to this week’s nominee –  Mrs. Susan “Beth” Cannistraci.

Cannistraci started her career in the middle school where she taught 8th-grade science for many years.  She now teaches 10th-grade biology.  Cannistraci is well known for her dedication to her subject and her students.

Eagle Eye: Why did you become a teacher?

Susan “Beth” Cannistraci: “When I was in high school, as far as a career, the only thing I knew for sure was that I was not going to be a teacher. Both my parents were educators, and I wanted to do something different. It wasn’t until I was a senior in college that I added education as a second major. I was unsure what to do with my biology degree, so I got certified to teach as a fallback.”

EE: Why did you choose the subject you teach?

SC: “In high school, I had aptitude in both science and math. I could have become a math teacher, but science is way more fun. I love doing the activities and labs. Out of the sciences, I chose biology because it interested me more.”

EE: What’s your favorite thing about teaching at Tyrone?

SC: “I am a Golden Eagle through and through. My parents taught here, I went to school here, my daughter went to school here, and I have only taught here. There is nowhere else I would rather be. I love the relationships I have built with the students and staff. The people I have met are some of the most genuine, conscientious, and caring individuals on the planet.”

EE: What are some of your favorite hobbies and interests?

SC: “In my free time, you can catch me at my daughter’s sporting events, or on my boat at Raystown.”

EE: What is some good advice you’ve been given as a teacher?

SC: “I have been blessed to hear numerous ‘Vancas-isms,’  but I will keep them to myself.”

EE: What’s the hardest part of teaching and why?

SC: “Teaching during the pandemic has been the most challenging part of my career. In a ‘normal’ year, teaching is tiring; but the requirements now are mentally and physically exhausting.”

EE: What are some jobs held before you got into teaching?

SC: “I worked at Bland’s Park (now DelGrosso’s) in the summer from the time I was 16 until my early 20s.”

EE: What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

SC: “I attended the 1984 summer Olympics in Los Angeles with my family. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”

EE: What’s your favorite movie?

SC: “I don’t really have a favorite movie.”

EE: What is your spirit animal? Why?

SC: “I would say my spirit animal is the honey badger. The honey badger is feisty, and not likely to back down from a challenge or competition regardless of the odds.”