International School for the Arts
Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Composition Master of Arts in Secondary Education National Board Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood English Language Arts
Ms. Mona Elleithee
It is with great enthusiasm that I return to the Irmo High School teaching team this year as I am thrilled to be a part of this incredible school and community. I gain extraordinary joy from spending my days laughing and learning together with young people.
Haim G. Ginott, author of Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers, eloquently captures my teaching philosophy:
"I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming."
I have always had a great love for literature, so studying English as a University of Arizona Wildcat fit like a glove. Upon completion of a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education in my hometown of Tucson, Arizona, I decided to relocate to the Chicago area in 2005. After spending two years in the Windy City, I continued migrating east, finally settling in Columbia. Thus, I have had the pleasure of teaching English in three of our nation's great states over the past thirteen years. In addition to teaching English 1-4, I have had the pleasure of teaching several electives including Service Learning, Leadership Development, Student Council, Speech, Exam Power and African American Literature.
Additional Credentials & Awards
I'm constantly seeking professional development experiences to enrich my teaching and my students' learning. In 2009, I became a National Board Certified Teacher in English Language Arts for Adolescence and Young Adulthood. I have presented at state and national conventions for English teachers. In 2011, I was named Dreher High School's Teacher of the Year and as a finalist for Richland County School District One's District Teacher of the Year. I also earned the district's Customer Care Champion Award in 2011. Additionally, I participated in The University of South Carolina's Midlands Writing Project Summer Institute which inspired me to provide my students with much more authentic writing experiences.
I am happily married to the love of my life who serves our community as a Richland County Deputy Sheriff on the Community Action Team. We have a six-year-old son named Omar and a four-year-old daughter named Dina.
For as long as I can remember I've loved singing. I fused my love of music and leadership by serving as president of both the Flowing Wells High School Choralaires and The University of Arizona's Symphonic Choir. As a U of A Wildcat I also performed in an a cappella vocal jazz sextet called Half Dozen of the Other and a vocal jazz nonet called nUAnce. Additionally, I enjoyed community choral experiences with The Arizona Repertory Singers of Tucson and The Northwest Choral Society of Chicago and now The Sandlapper Singers of Columbia. I've had wonderful experiences performing as a back-up singer for Grammy Award winning artist Linda Ronstadt, singing Haydn's Theresienmesse at Carnegie Hall with the Mid-America Combined Chorus, recording a children's album entitled Zingers & Swingers for Young Singers, and performing as the vocalist in a jazz combo called Satin Dolls.