Faculty Focus

Faculty Focus: January 2020

A Brit. Lit. aficionado, English Teacher Lauren (Davis) Trifilio ’97 returned to Fenwick three years ago.
What is your educational background?
LT: First, I graduated from Fenwick in 1997 (and I’m happy so happy to be back!). From there, I received my bachelor's degree in English and Secondary Education from Benedictine University and my master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Concordia University. 

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick? 
LT: I began my career teaching high school at Hinsdale Central; however, after a few years I decided to stay home and raise my kids. I then spent four years teaching part time at both Trinity Christian College and Moraine Valley Community College. While mentoring Education students, I felt the desire to return to the high school classroom and came to Fenwick. This is my third year back.

What are you currently reading for enjoyment? 
LT: Professionally (and let’s face it, for enjoyment, too!), I’m reading Weatherland: Writers and Artists Under English Skies by Alexandra Harris. 

What interests do you pursue outside the classroom? 
LT: I actively play tennis a few days a week and spend much of my time watching my kids play tennis as well. It has been a sport that I only picked up as an adult and have absolutely fell in love with the game. Otherwise, I spend my time with my family, Kate ’23, Megan, future Friar ’25, and my husband, Chris. 

What teams/and or clubs did you belong to as a student? 
LT: As a student, I participated in many Blackfriars Guild productions and participated in Optimist Club speech competitions. I absolutely enjoyed my time at Fenwick and still love my friends that I made through the BFG productions.

Which clubs/sports/activities do you run at Fenwick? 
LT: I am the assistant Girls’ Varsity Tennis coach. I have the pleasure to work with Gerard Sullivan, my former teacher. He mentors me in so many ways on and off the court. 

What quality or characteristic marks a Fenwick student?
LT: Fenwick students are well rounded; they strive for the best in all that they do. While academics are a main pursuit, Fenwick students have character.

What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching?
LT: I tend to be pretty conversational, and I hope that my students feel like they can talk in class. I want to hear what they have to say! 

What are your favorite classes to teach? 
LT: I’ve been lucky enough to teach British Literature throughout my career. The material piques my interest and allows me to share that love with my senior students.

What is your greatest success you’ve had in teaching? 
LT: I feel that my greatest success comes from students who say that they don’t normally enjoy English classes but liked mine. I love seeing students making connections with the material and actually enjoy what they read. 

What challenges face students today?
LT: Students today are faced with living and learning in a complicated world. There is pressure from many sources, and they have to work really hard to keep everything together. 
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