We are introducing a new Panther Press feature. Our Meet the Teacher profiles will feature questions and answers with the men and women who dedicate their days to teaching at Paul VI, starting with our inaugural profile on Mr. DeBroek.
Panther Press: Where did you grow up?
Mr. DeBroek: I was a military brat growing up. Every three years I was living on a new base. I’ve lived in a lot of states: Texas, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, and Oklahoma. In eighth grade through graduation, I even lived in Germany and England.
Where did you go to college?
I was undergraduate at Notre Dame, and for graduate school I went to St. Louis University.
What brought you to this area?
I had already lived here for some time growing up, and I was looking for jobs in Virginia for a few reasons. I especially liked the Virginia right-to-work laws and the four seasons of the area. My sister’s godparents also lived in the area, and I wanted to teach at a Catholic or military school because I’ve been to Catholic colleges.
I love teaching in a Catholic school because I want to be able to talk about my religion. I especially love having the chapel in the building because I want to be able to have some place to go if I’m having a rough day.
How long have you been teaching at Paul VI? Have you been teaching history for all of those years?
I have been teaching at Paul VI for six years. I have taught Honors US History for Juniors for all six of those years, and I also usually teach another class.
What drew you to teaching history?
I love the story of the subject; I always loved reading when I was younger, and especially reading about people’s lives. Everyone in the subject of history either accomplishes something or fails at something, and I hope that I can teach my students to learn from these stories.
Is teaching something that you have always wanted to do? Could you imagine doing anything else?
I have always thought about teaching. I remember taking one of those aptitude tests in the eighth grade, and how it said I would be good as a teacher. That has stuck with me.
I also thought about performing; I even minored in musical performance. I still sing, and am a part of the St. Veronica’s Church Choir. I am also in most of the Paul VI school plays.
What is your favorite part about teaching?
Definitely getting paid to talk about the subject I love for eight hours a day. I love that I get to have a job that I really love, that I get to teach high school students, and that I get to share the story that is history with the students.
Are there any fun or interesting facts about yourself that you’d like to share?
As far as singing goes, I am a member of the Upper Room Theatre Ministry in Manassas, and was Inspector Javert in a production of Les Misérables.
I am also very involved in the clubs at Paul VI. I run four clubs: Cooking Club, Young Politicians’ Club, Webcrawlers, and the Adventure Club. The Young Politicians’ Club focuses on improving skills in nonpartisan political discussion, and the Adventure Club focuses on roleplaying through games such as Dungeons and Dragons.
My favorite fact, however, is that I am a doting uncle to a beautiful baby niece and nephew.