- Please share a little background about yourself:
My name is Brigid Smircich and I am the Music Teacher here at Saint. Raphael School. I was born in Princeton, NJ and when I was in 2 nd grade my family moved to Normandy Beach, NJ; a small town in Ocean County. I was fortunate to grow up a “beach kid,”; swimming in Barnegat Bay, sailing, tubing, and spending a lot of time in the ocean. I attended Saint Denis School in Manasquan and Monsignor Donovan High School in Toms River. After graduating from high school in 2005, I attended Salve Regina University in Rhode Island for my Freshman year, before transferring to Rutgers University in New Brunswick. I graduated from Rutgers in 2009 with a BA in Music and then attended Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, where I received my MA in Music Education. After graduating from Columbia, I held a few long-term substitute positions before starting at St. Raphael School in 2013. I got married in June of 2017 and my husband and I now have a 9-month-old Yellow Lab puppy, Skye.
2. What inspired or motivated you to become a teacher?
I have always loved school and was fortunate to find a subject that I was passionate about at a young age. I began playing the trumpet in 4 th Grade and the piano in 8 th Grade and over the years I learned that, as in any other subject, having a great teacher helps capture the students’ interest. I decided that I wanted to be that person; the person who is there to introduce students to a subject and help to cultivate a lifelong curiosity about music and a willingness to discover and share their gifts and talents.
3. Why did you choose to be a teacher at St. Raphael School?
Having attended a Catholic school from 2 nd grade through freshman year of college, I saw the difference that having a Catholic education makes; I have always felt that my Catholic education gave me a strong foundation in faith which is extremely important in the world today. Being able to live out my Catholic faith each and every day means a great deal to me, so when I was offered the opportunity to teach at St. Raphael School, it seemed like the perfect fit.
4. Throughout your time as a teacher, what moments have captivated you to think/say “This is why I teach at a Catholic school.”
Our Praise and Worship Music Ministry constantly reminds me why I chose to teach at a Catholic school. On a daily basis, our students can be heard singing music with beautiful messages that give glory and praise to God. I say on a daily basis, because they can be heard singing these songs not only in Music class, but in the hallways, during snack, at recess and in the cafeteria. They then have the opportunity to praise God when they sing these songs with the school community on Fridays after Mass. The fact that we pray every day as a school family is another reason why I teach at a Catholic school. As a Catholic school we are blessed to be able to pray with one another in both good times and bad; seeing our St. Raphael School family lift one another in prayer on a constant basis is truly a beautiful experience.
5. What do you enjoy doing once you go home at the end of the school day?
I have a 9-month-old puppy, so a lot of my time after school is spent keeping her entertained; playing fetch, going for walks, and teaching her new tricks. I sing with two different choirs, Princeton Pro Musica and my parish choir in Hillsborough. I also enjoy playing the piano and trumpet, sailing, swimming, skiing, reading a good book, watching “This is Us,” and spending time with family and friends.”