Q&A: From Parent to Coordinator

It’s a rare day when Ms. Marchetta is absent.

She’s one of the school’s celebrities, the one who everyone knows and hears every Tuesday and Thursday for the morning announcements. Ms. Marchetta is the parent coordinator at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA), who has been involved in the school, as a parent since 2001, and who has worked at FSSA since 2003.

Four of her five children attended the school, one being an instrumentalist, two being drama students, and one being a vocal major. She is one of the members who has been a part of the school since it was created and experienced the change in location from Long Island City to Astoria.

Although her main job in the school is the parent coordinator, she is known for her close relationships and bonds that she forms with students. Many students come into her office and
immediately connect with her, being the kind, welcoming person that she is. She is one reason why students feel comfortable in the school as freshman all the way up to their graduation day.

How did you first hear about the school?

​Back in 2000 my son was in 8th grade and he auditioned for the inaugural class and got into the instrumental program. It was on television where they showed Tony Bennett on the news saying that he was opening up a school in Astoria. You had to do your research to try and get an audition.

How did you hear about the job being that the school was just created?

It was Chancellor Klein who decided to create this job, parent coordinator, and it wasn’t only Frank Sinatra that I applied to. There were a few other schools as well, but the job offer came
from here so I took it and I’m very glad I did.

When did you start working here?

I started working at the school on Sept. 20, 2003, but my son went to school when it first was created. I enjoyed being just a parent with the school for the first three years, and I had already felt like a part of the school.

What do you do at the school?

Basically, I am there for the parents. My job is to inform them of the daily things that go on within the school, Department of Education, and any inquiries they may have in regards to their own student. I handle student-teacher situations, morning announcements, selling show tickets, freshman orientation, paperwork and yeah, pretty much a little bit of everything.

Q: What changes have you seen in the school since it started?

We started out I think with a total of around 150 kids when the school first opened we were half of a floor. Now it’s five floors with about 850 students so there was a huge growth of the student body and progression to different buildings and now we’re in our final home.

What is the best thing about working here?

​Oh, just watching the kids have a great time on stage. I love watching the smiles on the students who are just so into what they’re doing. It makes us adults feel young again. It’s a
warm feeling inside to see the kids happy with what they do at the school.

Describe the different relationships between you and the students at the school?

I feel like the mother to some of these kids. Seventh period I have three girls that come in, sixth period I have a boy and a girl come in, and you know I have a lot of students come in and
with each different kid there’s a different relationship and they’re all good relationships. They all respect me as an adult and we have fun together. It’s also really nice because they trust me and they come to me if they want to talk about anything, which I think is just great.

Why do you think you stuck around with the school for so long?

I like being around the arts, I really do. I love the environment of everyone being so happy. And working with people full of positive energy is something I just don’t want to let go of.

– by Madeline Windland ’18