From Greek Life to Teacher Life


Ashley Mercedes, Features Editor

Erica Passarella is more than just a John Adams High School art teacher.  She is part of a sorority that has a partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and works hard to raise money and awareness for the organization.  Passarella explains that the sorority she’s part of is Delta Delta Delta, also known as the Tri Deltas, an international brotherhood/sisterhood, and revealed that she joined the sorority during her junior year in college so that she could enhance her resume; this resulted in her actually enjoying being part of it and continuing her participation after her college years. When asked what her fondest memory was when she was a student in the sorority, she responded, “My fondest memory when I was in college and was building a float for the homecoming and as an alumni, my most memorable was when I was president; I was president of the chapter for six years.”  Each sorority has its own motto that guides the spirit of joining and working together and Delta Delta Delta’s Greek means “perpetual bonding of friendship,” something that Passarella believes strongly in.

Passarella mentioned that there are many ways to help out in order to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Some of the usual fundraisers that Tri Delta participates in and organizes are the annual basket auction, which is called the Silver Gold and Basket Night Fundraiser. Additionally, they have done many other events to raise money, such as Bowl-a-thons, gift wrapping, at-home parties, and so forth. She explained that this year the Tri Delta is planning a vendor event to build the Tri Delta Center, a home for patients near the hospital that allows for easy access.  Her goal is to help raise $16 million within the next 10 years.

Being a full time art teacher while working on activities for the sorority is a lot of work, but Passarella exclaimed that she does “it in between.”  She continues, “I work all day here [John Adams] and whenever I have free time, I do my volunteering.” There are many reasons a person might want to join in a sorority, such as a having a better resume, building strong friendships or participating in philanthropic activities, Passarella said. Doing volunteer work is rewarding, and Passarella reminds people, “All the good you do is the rewarding thing about being in a sorority.”

Passarella recommends that students consider joining a sorority when in college, and stated, “I think it’s a great experience. You know a lot of people think of what they see in the movies and feel that they can’t do that, but I enjoyed my sorority so much and it’s even better now that I’m out of college.” Looking at a teacher you wouldn’t view them as anything but that, on the contrary they do have actual lives out of school, such a shocker right? Concerning Passerella, this is just something that sets her apart from teaching, but one that reflects the infinite possible things a teacher can indulge in outside of school.