Teacher Feature Ms. Sara DeSantis


Courtesy of Sara DeSantis

Ms. DeSantis and her husband, Hugo, pose at their wedding in 2021. The two were married at the Immaculata at the University of San Diego.

Ms. Sara DeSantis, one of Cathedral’s incredible English teachers, embodies comfort, both in her classroom and in her daily life. Ms. DeSantis has always described herself as a bookish, introverted individual, with a deep love for reading. “Reading makes you a kinder person because you are spending time in the lives and perspectives of other people. It’s the best way to develop empathy, in my opinion.”

After graduating from Cathedral, Ms. DeSantis continued her academic career at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University. Though she was originally an environmental science major, she ended up pursuing English instead. From her experience, Ms DeSantis learned, “Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you thought it would, and that’s ok. Sometimes great things are waiting for you around the corner if you make yourself open to those opportunities.”

Upon completion of her masters at Carnegie, Ms. DeSantis returned to San Diego with a deep desire to teach, and became an English teacher at her alma mater. In her classroom, there’s no shortage of cozy furniture and her signature “funny” millennial jokes. Ms. DeSantis is her students’ biggest fan, and hopes to inspire and empower each writer that sets foot in her class. When discussing her biggest teaching inspirations, Ms. DeSantis stated, “Toni Morrison told her students, ‘If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.’ She inspires me to empower my students as individuals. You cannot be a leader without having empathy and respect for those you are trying to lead.” She also is inspired deeply by both her mother, who she describes as, “an intelligent, patient, hilarious, and incredibly kind giving woman,” as well as the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

When Ms. DeSantis isn’t grading stacks of essays and creative writing vignettes, or writing letters of recommendation for juniors and seniors, she loves to indulge in what she calls “hobbit activities,” which include embroidery, baking, and antiquing. She is also an adept piano player, with twenty-two years of experience up her sleeve. However, don’t let her self proclaimed “grandma activities” fool you. Ms. DeSantis is an avid boxer, and loves to nurture her adventurous spirit. She has traveled to 20 countries and counting, her favorites being Ireland for the sheep and bread, as well as Japan for their public transportation system. When she’s local, you can find her at Communal Coffee, her favorite coffee joint, or The Book Catapult, her favorite indie bookstore.

Someday, Ms. DeSantis hopes to be a successful, published author. “I’m currently working on two separate books, and I don’t want to give a lot away about them but I will say one is a fantasy and one is set in space. My husband is also a writer so we try to work on our projects together over the weekends.” In five years, she hopes, “I will have one of my books finished and published, and maybe it will have been picked up for a movie deal, preferably directed by Denis Villeneuve with soundtrack by John Williams.” With the copious amounts of money she hopes to earn from her future success, Ms. DeSantis wishes to purchase a cottage in the Scottish Highlands where she will, “wear sweaters year-round, raise some sheep and grow my own fruits and vegetables, and take moody walks across the misty moors like a good Jane Austen heroine.”