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The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

Summing Up Success: Saying Goodbye to Ms. Amy Venditta

Celebrating Math Teacher and middle school girls’ sports coach Ms. Amy Venditta
Amy Venditta
Ms. Amy Venditta, Honors and Core Precalculus teacher, sits with her son Axel. Ms. Venditta leaves her students with an important piece of advice: “Make good choices, and be nice, but overall, listen to yourself and listen to your gut, and follow what you love.”

Math Teacher Ms. Amy Venditta is a ray of sunshine against a gloomy sky. Whether they’ve had a hard test, a tiring morning, or a bad day, she always brightens her students’ faces. Though she’ll be leaving Bishop’s to teach in Virginia after five years of teaching math, advising students, and leading Middle School sports, Ms. Venditta has touched the community’s hearts.

Ms. Venditta did not initially plan on being a teacher and wanted to take the MCAT (the test for medical school), but, ultimately, “I love teaching, and I’m happy that I fell into it,” she said. She continued, “I care about all of you and care about where you go and what you’re doing and how you’re doing, and being able to interact with you guys whenever we have class it’s pretty special and lucky.”

Ms. Venditta arrived at Bishop’s in 2019 after teaching abroad and then at the Cate School in Santa Barbara. Right away, other teachers, students, and especially Math Teacher Mr. David Johnson made her feel welcomed and supported. She said, “The kids were awesome too, and it didn’t take long for me to feel like I [belonged here].” 

The first students she got to know well were the kids in her energetic eighth-grade advisory. She said, “Those boys were insane, and I got thrown into that. I remember I went to the bathroom and came back, and they had all the lights off and all the desks up in a barricade and were chucking markers. They were having a full-on marker war and were playing either Braveheart or Rocky music. It was insane, and I was like ‘Uh, I definitely got my hands full.’” 

After her initial year teaching Precalculus and leading an eighth-grade advisory, Ms. Venditta had a 10th-grade advisory for two years and got a new ninth-grade advisory this year. “I am super sad to leave them, and it was hard to tell them I was not coming back,” Ms. Venditta said. She added, “They’re always in my room when we are not in advisory and doing TikTok videos.” 

Ms. Venditta’s advisees speak just as highly of her as she speaks of them. Emelyn Huynh (‘27), came into her Math 5 Enriched (5E) class in near tears when she realized one of her favorite people on campus was leaving. “She’s just so easy to talk to, and I just love having conversations with her because I feel like she really understands me,” Emelyn explained. 

Emelyn also reminisced on fun memories from Ms. Venditta’s ninth-grade advisory, such as their trips to coffee shops.

In addition to her advisory, Ms. Venditta has formed close bonds with her coworkers throughout her time at Bishop’s. She said, “It was good to have them as resources, friends, and support systems. I’m gonna miss math teachers Mr. David Johnson, Ms. Catherine Beamer, Ms. Dolores Williamson, Ms. Taylor Yoo, [and] Honors Calculus BC and Math 5E teacher Ms. Jessi Chrystal and the [entire] math department.”

Two members of the math department who are her “neighbors” are Ms. Yoo and Ms. Chrystal. Both of them had kids before Ms. Venditta came to Bishop’s, so when Ms. Venditta had her first child, they became her support system. Ms. Chrystal has regular, entertaining conversations with Ms. Venditta. “Ms. Venditta’s a very supportive co-worker,” she explained. “I could talk to her not only about math problems but also about parenting.” 

Ms. Yoo said, “It’s been really fun just to go on walks during free periods or hang out with her at lunch when ninth graders are in her room… I’ll just really miss her as a friend, neighbor, and teacher.”

Ms. Venditta’s ability to form connections with her students also caught Ms. Yoo’s attention from the beginning. “She’s a great role model in how present she is with everyone around her. One of the things that is really cool about her is that she approaches interactions with people from a place of kindness and curiosity. She wants to get to know you,” Ms. Yoo explained. 

Of course, Ms. Venditta is great to talk to about math problems, too. As Audrey Lin (‘25), one of her Honor Precalculus students, said, “Ms. Venditta is always double-checking that the student understands what’s going on, creating new practice worksheets, or answering the dozens of questions that come her way during busy office hours sessions.” 

Safina Abraham (‘25), who is in Ms. Venditta’s Core Precalculus class, mentioned that “Ms. Venditta goes around the class to make sure that everyone is at the same place and if you aren’t, she doesn’t get mad at you, she just helps you.” 

During office hours, Ms. Vendetta also demonstrates her dedication to each individual student. As Nick Revenco (‘25), who is also in her Honors Precalculus class, put it, “She stays in the classroom until 3:40 PM to guide me through a math topic that did not originally make sense to me.” 

This dedication stood out for Ezra Granet (‘25), who is in her Honors Precalculus class. He said, “One of the things that always stood out was how Ms. Venditta created a safe space for learning… Her approachability and warmth ensured that no one ever felt left out or confused.” 

More generally, Audrey described Ms. Venditta as helpful, resourceful, and curious. She said, “If a student solved a problem unexpectedly, for example, she’ll make sure that she understands it too, and even [will] bring it up in future classes.” 

Every year, Ms. Venditta also strives to teach her class real-life applications of the topics they’re learning. For example, she showed her Honors Precalculus class that “Math is in real life.” One time during her Honors Precalculus class, she used the Domino’s app to fake order a pizza with all the toppings and types of crust to show her class the idea of probability, combinations, and permutations. 

“There are a lot of cool connections you may not think about regarding topics we are learning,” she said. Ezra mentioned that he loves how she introduces real-life topics in an “interesting and practical way.”

Every year, the first thing Ms. Venditta teaches her students is not math or derivatives, it is about having a growth mindset, which her students also love. Sofia Hayden (‘25), who is also in Honors Precalculus, explained, “It helps to have a teacher who makes you feel like you can grow and do things even though they are hard.”

Another aspect of her teaching that students appreciate is her 12-point scale. On the normal grading scale, if someone got a 20/24, that would be 83.33%. However, with her 12-point scale, you divide the top and bottom by two to make the score 10/12. A 10 would be an A- according to her scale. “It helps [students] because we can put more challenging things on tests and quizzes and then you feel more comfortable taking those academic risks without hurting your grades,” Ms. Venditta explained. 

Sofia emphasized that the grading scale helps her, so she can “actually focus directly on the math.” Nick similarly said, “Instead of directly teaching us the content, she guides us through problems that allow us to gain new math knowledge. This approach is more engaging and enjoyable, allowing me to appreciate every new math topic.”

While the students appreciated every new math topic, Ms. Vendetta deeply appreciated her experiences coaching middle school sports this year. “This year I coached Middle School basketball, soccer, and lacrosse, and I taught some girls who had never played the sport before. I had a lot of fun with that,” she reflected. Ms. Venditta has had a positive impact on the entire Bishop’s community, from her math students to her advisees, co-workers, and the girls she coaches. 

As Ms. Venditta says goodbye to the School, she has one final piece of advice: “You will have a lot of decisions in your life and sometimes you will make good decisions and sometimes bad decisions. Sometimes it will be a path where you are winning and doing awesome and sometimes where you suck and are not winning, that’s part of life, and you just have to navigate through it.”

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About the Contributors
Lisa Pan
Lisa Pan, Assistant Graphics Editor
Lisa is in her second year of The Tower as a sophomore and an Assistant Graphics Editor. She loves writing articles, whether fun or serious, mainly about performing arts and entertainment recommendations. When she’s not at school or working in Los Angeles as a professional actress-singer-model, she spends her time writing novels and songs in addition to news articles somewhere in the library. And you better believe she’ll have a Harry Potter book in her backpack, an iced latte in her hand, and a smile on her face every day at school. If you ever see her around campus, feel free to stop and say hello!
David Lai
David Lai, Staff Writer
David Lai, the only returning staff writer, is a junior who loves playing soccer. No matter if he sleeps one hour or 10 hours, he always has a full tank of energy.  He loves MUN, speech and debate, and knows how to speak four languages. Whether he is hanging out with friends, talking to his siblings, doing homework, playing video games or soccer, David is always energetic. He loves writing about sports, politics, MUN, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and more. 

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