Gabi Perpignand, Marist ‘19
Majored in Psychology and Special Education with a minor in Music and is currently a first grade teacher.
What has your career path been to this point?
After graduating Marist in 2019, I went on to get a Masters of Education from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. While working on my graduate degree I held a position as a building substitute at a local elementary school. Last January I was offered a position to teach first grade at an elementary school in Ithaca, NY; My dream job! I’m currently loving exploring all the natural beauty of Finger Lakes Region with my class and learning about the local history of another area of New York State.
Can you share an experience/memory from your time at HRVI that stands out as meaningful?
I had the amazing opportunity to continue my internship at HRVI through the summer months following my sophomore year. Spending the whole summer with Andy, Chris, and the Colonel was the time of my life and the absolute best summer job I’ve ever had but one memory sticks out from the rest. During the week of the Summer Pre-College Program I was able to accompany one of Col. Johnson’s classes to the Payne Mansion where they would be participating in an overnight reenactment to learn about living during that era. I remember getting to pitch an “old fashioned tent” with large sticks and sheets, watching a cannon be fired off into the distance, and getting up close and personal with some of the historic artifacts on display within the mansion itself. I got some of the coolest pictures that day!
How has your experience at HRVI helped you advance your education and/or professional pursuits since graduating from Marist?
My experience at HRVI ignited my passion for local history. I have since been able to develop and grow my knowledge of not only Hudson Valley history but the history of the several places I’ve lived since. Now, as a first grade teacher in the historic Finger Lakes Region, I have the chance to share my love of history with young minds who are eager to learn about the area in which they live. I’ve even used modified versions of the lesson plans I wrote during my internship at HRVI with my current class!
As HRVI celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022, do you have any advice for future HRVI interns based on your time at HRVI and your experience in your professional field?
Enjoy your time with HRVI! Regardless of major, the lessons learned and skills developed during this time will carry on with you throughout your professional and personal life. HRVI taught me the importance of developing relationships with a variety of individuals in all walks of life. Find the joy in exploring really fascinating local history with a great team of mentors- They’re the best!