Getting to Know Mx. Sandusky


Mx. Sandusky was recently hired by the wellness department to teach the sexual violence prevention workshops beginning in October. They are currently leading the workshops for seniors and planning the ones for sophomores, having completed the ones for juniors. I conducted an interview with them to learn more about their teaching experience and goals. 


Q: You previously worked at the Open Window School. How have your experiences there shaped what you bring to Lakeside?

Working at Open Window solidified my interest in health and wellness, especially in sex education. Because of how small the school is, I was able to see the direct impact that lessons had on students’ lives. The content I helped teach was really personal, so I wanted students to feel that the information they received was coming from somebody trusted and aware of their needs. I made an effort to get to know all of them personally, which made conversations about sex ed more open and comfortable and made me excited to gear lessons to their specific interests.

Q: At Open Window, you taught middle schoolers in the humanities department. What has the transition between subjects and grade levels been like? 

I studied English education in college and always loved English classes. In particular, I loved how the humanities examine people’s lived experiences, allowing people to develop empathy while providing a mirror of their own personal experiences. I think that wellness is similar, as we’re thinking about specific ways to improve the human experience. While I started at Open Window in humanities, I shifted over time to co-teaching health and wellness because of how personal and necessary the content is to students’ lives.

I think that high school conversations are more nuanced than middle school ones, and students are generally more open to steering conversations themselves in directions that are most valuable to them. As students mature, some of the taboo around sex ed also goes away.

Q: What made you decide to become an educator?

I know that it’s a cliché that knowledge is power, but I really think that education gives people the options they need to live satisfying and fulfilling lives. The education system has failed a lot of people — it didn’t work for me at all as a teenager until one extremely supportive English teacher changed everything. They made me realize how impactful it is to have caring people around you and inspired me to become a teacher myself.

I actually don’t know how to ride a bike. I learned how as a kid but forgot the skill over time. It’s ironic.

— Mx. Sandusky

Q: How have you been getting to know the student body at Lakeside in your first month at the school? What has that been like?

Getting to know the students here has been a big adjustment for me. Lakeside is much larger than Open Window, and I don’t have very much time to get to know students because the workshop time is so limited! Being a Student Government co-advisor has allowed me to have some levity after a day of talking about heavy topics, and it feels great to be surrounded by so many passionate people in an informal setting. I’m also a co-advisor for a group of 9th graders.

Q: What are some interesting or unexpected things about you outside of school life?

I actually don’t know how to ride a bike. I learned how as a kid but forgot the skill over time. It’s ironic considering how the idiom “it’s like riding a bike” means that you can never forget how to do something.

I was also a sound engineer in college. I worked at an on-campus venue where we brought in both well-established musicians and up-and-coming ones. It was challenging at first because I wasn’t involved in technology or audio engineering in any other way. However, after gaining some experience, I was able to use my skills to contribute to other community events.

This interview has been edited for clarity.