Colao Shares Caring and Adventurous Spirit with Students

Any student who has taken a class with Rosemary Colao knows that she is the loudest and most kind-hearted person at South Kingstown High School.

Colao realized she wanted to be a teacher during her first year of college and is greatly inspired by Jesus, Nelson Mandela, and Eleanor Roosevelt. “They’re definitely on my coffee list,” she stated.

In 1997, Colao began teaching in New York and moved to Rhode Island a year later when her husband was offered a job. In 1998, she taught at Curtis Corner Middle School for one year and then began working at the high school in 1999. The Brooklyn native has taught various subjects including U.S. History, Sociology, Global Studies and Western Civilization.

“My favorite thing about Colao is that when I cry, she cries for me-because she is such an empathetic person,” senior Molly Comstock said. “She’s my second mom.”

Last year, Colao established the first annual “Mr. SKHS” — a senior-male-only pageant which will now be an SKHS tradition that raises funds for the Josie Fox Foundation and Scholarship.

“The Josie Fox Scholarship is given to any senior who basically shines light on the school,” Colao stated. “Josie was such a kind-hearted spirit and would have loved to see a show like Mr. SKHS.”

This year, Colao decided to take on the challenge of running a senior class trip to California during April vacation.

This adventure includes sightseeing in cities such as Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Hollywood, San Francisco and Yosemite.

“Nothing excites me more than just getting there,”stated Colao. “Once the students see how truly beautiful California is, their view on traveling will transform.” Over 65 students will be attending the field trip, which includes a day at Universal Studios, a boat ride to Alcatraz, and a cable car ride through San Francisco.

“I decided to run this trip because of how frequently we were talking about Manifest Destiny in U.S. History,” Colao stated. “It was the first time I’ve taught the subject in twenty three years”

Accompanying Colao will be Mrs. Hathaway, Mrs. Kenyon, Ms. Mauro, Ms. Thomas and Mrs. Knapton.

“My [students] were so East Coast and had no clue what was going on across the country,” Colao said.“California is so geographically and culturally different compared to Rhode Island. Exploring for ten days will be an awesome experience for them.”

Colao is certain that nothing will go wrong on the trip and is hoping for a smooth trip from beginning to end.

“I wouldn’t want to go to California with any other teacher — Colao is like the class mom,” senior Jess Kazounis stated. “If any person knows how to handle 66 teenagers in LA, it’s her.”

According to Education Next, “enriching field trips contribute to the development of students into civilized young men and women who possess more knowledge about art- and have a greater taste for consuming art and culture.”

Some students have also used this field trip as a way to set goals. One anonymous senior stated that “[he] worked overtime to pay for all of [his] trip and once [he] made enough money, he was way more excited to go.”

Unfortunately, when asked, Colao stated she will not be running a field trip next year to California. If she were to take a class again, she said the next trip would be to the Grand Canyon during February vacation.

“My biggest advice to people going is: behave, be nice and be happy,” Colao stated. “I know for certain that everyone is going to have the time of their lives.”

Colao assists a student during class.
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