An Interview with the Director

Going into this new school year there have been many changes, which has inspired some questions concerning the future of NESA. I sat down with Mrs. Pagona and had a discussion on some of the main questions that have been on my mind, and I’m sure, everyone else’s. 

Q: “So let’s start off with, how was your summer, and are you excited to be back for another year?”

Mrs. Pagona: “Yeah so, I work year round. So um, it kind of seems like one big continuous year, summer was really short. But I did get to take a vacation, my family went to Main, and then to Canada in Novischoia and New Brunswick, and it was really fun. I wish that there was more summer that we could live in that little pocket of summer forever.” 

Q: ”So, what do you expect from the student body of NESA as a whole? This can include grades, performances, personal growth, stuff like that.”

Mrs. Pagona: “I expect the students at NESA to kind of live up to the promise that they made when they came here. That they were going to be the best students that they can be, and that they were gonna love what they do, and they were gonna do it with all their heart and they were gonna do the best they can. And that doesn't necessarily mean that I expect everybody to be a straight A student and everything because that’s not really reasonable, but that everybody does the best that they can. So like, say they know if they're running into trouble that they seek out help. And that we treat each other with respect and that we try not to be mean. I expect the students at NESA to be nice.”

Q: “There’s a lot of fear among the students about the many changes that have been made over just one summer. Can you give some encouraging words to the new, and old students to let them know that everything will be okay?” 

Mrs. Pagona: “I mean there’s been changes, but we knew they were coming. Right, basically we had two retirements, and that’s great for those people. They get to move onto the next chapter of their life, but to everybody, change is always going to happen. What death, taxes, and change are the only things that you can count on. On of the things that you’re supposed to do in highschool is [prepare] for the real world, right? and part of that is how you deal with change. So it’s not always easy, but it is always inevitable, so I think it defines who you are as a person how you deal with it. Like when it’s here and you either embrace it and you go with it, or you don’t. But that’s like fighting against, like um, that’s like shadow boxing. There’s nothing you can do to make change stop, so it’s best to figure out how to deal with it. Healthiest.

Q: “With all the new teachers that we have this year, and the transitions that students are having to make, would you like to give them any advice?”

Mrs. Pagona: “ My number one word of advice is [to] stop talking to your friends about all of your hypothetical fears and rumors and talk to your teacher. You know what I mean, get the solid facts, like get it from the horse's mouth. Communication is the number one thing that makes life function, like [if] you need something you let somebody know, if you’re worried about something you let somebody know, right? And you [tell] the person that is the person to help you know. And if you don’t do that then, you are responsible for your feelings at that point. You know what I mean, everybody should know what to do, and if they don't, then they can come ask me and I will help them.”

Q: “When do you think the new theatre is actually going to be fully built?”

Mrs. Pagona: “Okay so right now they’re telling me July. Which is like a whole year behind schedule, so you say yeah, but it’s like really? you know in the fall it rained a whole bunch, and that was when they were digging the hole, which is the worst time for it to rain. But now we feel like there shouldn’t be so many bad weather days [because we have a roof]. So while it may stop on the outside they could be working on the inside so progress still happens, instead of like a dead stop. So hopefully like if they’re not done in July I’m gonna be upset. [only] because I want people to move in and start the year there instead of [it being], “we’re gonna spend one month in our old classrooms the way things were.” And then all my teachers are gonna have to be like “It’s October and we have to move classrooms, right before a big show”, and that would be terrible. So fingers crossed and all good vibes that way.” 

Q: “And the final question I have is, what does the future of NESA look like?”

Mrs. Pagona: ”You know the future of NESA is yet untold. There are things that we are working towards, we’re working towards growing the school so recruitment is one of our main goals this year. Recruitment especially into some of our smaller majors, and hopefully just overall growth for sustainability purposes. So like almost everybody at NESA in the last year, has felt what happens when the one person who is running your entire department, leaves. right, so I think the ultimate goal is if we can get more kids. Because if we get more kids then we can get more adults which leads to stability because you don’t lose two adults. You know what I mean, like one person retires the other person’s still there. I say that, but then we had two people leave L.E.E theatre, so things do happen, but it would be nice if we had some [more]. And with more teachers then there’s more choices, so opening up within majors, and there’s more opportunities for more specialization, or more classes that are cross major. You know we have a couple classes that anybody in NESA can take, and if we can grow the school where people can actually take more classes then we can have more classes like that for kids. So that’s one of the goals.”

Check out NESA Directors Notes at

Written by: Autumn Castaneda (Tech '21)


NESA NEWS 2018-2019