Students around Anne Arundel County are getting ready to head back to school in a couple of weeks, but for one couple who recently moved to Maryland from Florida, the school year marks an even greater beginning.
Marcio and Dee Rosado are starting as new teachers in the system this year and took part in Anne Arundel County public schools' teacher orientation this past week with a mix of excitement and anxiousness.
Dee, 36, has been teaching kindergarten and first grade for 11 years. Marcio, 39, previously worked in the computer science industry but started teaching elementary school nine years ago when he found his computer science career unfulfilling.
"Teaching was always something that I had considered," he said. "But when I saw [Dee] doing it, it really influenced me."
The Rosados made the decision to move to Maryland to be near family — Marcio grew up in the state. Though they fielded offers from several counties, including Howard and Montgomery, they chose to teach in Anne Arundel because they found recruiters from the system to be personable and invested in their careers.
"We were really impressed," Marcio said. "They seemed really interested in us, and were great about keeping in contact."
County school officials said some 400 teachers attended the orientations that ran Monday through Wednesday last week at Old Mill High School in Millersville.
The sessions included training on professionalism, classroom culture and curriculum — including Common Core State Standards Initiative requirements. New teachers also met with representatives from the Right Start new teacher support program, which operates within the system. Coaches in the program will work with the teachers through their first few years.
Andrea Mucci, manager of Right Start, said the program is geared toward all teachers new to Anne Arundel, whether they are new to working in education or have had previous experience.
"We want the teachers to know that no matter how stressful it may get, they're not alone," she said.
"At this stage, they're full of enthusiasm and idealism, and we want to keep that going," she said.
Teachers also had the chance to meet another educator with a new job in the system: George Arlotto, who was named the system's new superintendent in May.
Before taking his current position, he served eight years in the Arundel system including time spent as director of high schools and as associate superintendent for school performance.
Arlotto, a 28-year educator, has also been a high school principal and biology teacher.
"It's wonderful that we're all ringing the bell together," he said of the new teachers at orientation.
In a speech Tuesday, he stressed the importance of teachers inspiring students to take the more challenging path, but in a way that is fun for them.
"We're going to travel this road together," Arlotto said.
Richard Benfer, president of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, also spoke to the group about using the organization as a network of allies.
"We do have lots of experience among us here and we can give you lots of guidance," he said. "But what's most important is that you start building relationships now."
That's one advantage the Rosados already have: They can lean on each other for support.
Dee Rosado will be teaching at Southgate Elementary School in Glen Burnie and Marcio Rosado will start at Georgetown East Elementary in Annapolis. The couple's 5-year-old daughter will be attending Southgate alongside her mother.
"This is great for us as a family because we all operate on the same schedule," Dee said. "We come home at the same time, we can vacation together easily during summers off."
She said it's comforting knowing that she is starting the journey teaching in Anne Arundel with her spouse.
"It's great when you have someone who understands what you're going through," she said.