Meet Aarionna Goodman

Meet Aarionna Goodman
Dani Seiss

As part of our ongoing series Meet Our GDS Faculty and Staff, we are excited to present: Meet Aarionna Goodman!

Read the Q&A below to learn more about Aarionna.

Primary Roles: 5th and 6th Grade English Teacher

Pronouns: she/her

Years at GDS: Two years down, halfway through year 3

What do you love about GDS?
I love GDS's commitment to instilling a love for learning and a responsibility to change the world we live in [for the better]; the focus on celebrating unique identities; and [the School's] mission of inclusivity and diversity.

Why do you do your job?
I had an 8th-grade math teacher named Ms. Kinder who was as sweet as she was tough. Ms. Kinder went above and beyond for my needs (my goodness was Algebra 1 a trip). It wasn’t until high school that I realized what she did for me and how I learned best. In eleventh grade, I started tutoring what I was learning in my math classes and continued through college. Being able to help students and witness their “aha” moments, remembering my own with Ms. Kinder, felt like a gift. English has always been my passion, but math is what ultimately led me to the classroom. 

A favorite part of your job?
Being able to watch my students grow in both 5th to 6th grade has been an absolute joy. 

A top hope/wish for your students and/or colleagues?
My top hope for my students is to find something they love and hold on to that love with all of their might. It can be very easy to lose sight of what matters most in the face of adversity. I hope for my students to remain steadfast, to ask for help when they need it, to be brave, and to fight for what they believe. I hope for the goodness in them to shine through. 

Personal passions/hobbies/pastimes?
I’m a proud bibliophile! Nothing beats a good book and a sun-soaked bench.

Favorite recipes: 
While most people have favorite recipes, I have a favorite cook: my grandmother. I have always adored the way she holds a spoon, sets grits to simmer, seasons a seafood boil, and doles out sweetness to taste. Her southern roots dress the way she says words like “oil” and “pecan” in clothes I recognize but, try as I might, cannot quite fit. I wonder at times about the origin of the foods I hold dear; whether or not she learned them in North Carolina in her youth, in Philadelphia as she grew into motherhood, or in Texas as she settled into retirement. As I grow older, I find that there is always something new to find out about my grandmother and something tasty to discover at the end of her fingertips.

Credit: College Prep at Penn Charter

Favorite Band:
Cab Calloway and His Orchestra (I had a blast studying his music in college.)

One thing about yourself your students/colleagues/others probably don't know?
I was the first to go to college in my family and it very often felt like I was carving my own pathway in the dark—there was so much I did not know and could not see. It wasn’t until college prep programs found me that I truly felt at ease. Those programs felt like safe havens in more ways than one. As the assistant director of a college prep program now, I get to spend my summers in Philadelphia helping high school students—who are in the same schools I came through—build a path in the light.  

Aarionna Goodman


One thing on your life "bucket list" you've already accomplished?
The benches were a little too sun-soaked but I thoroughly enjoyed last summer at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. We came for Harry Potter World, naturally. The Velocicoaster, however, was our favorite ride (it would’ve blown my socks off if it weren’t for my Forces). Universal (I could not believe my eyes when I saw writing from J. R. R. Tolkien’s books.) 

Meet Aarionna Goodman
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