Mrs. Hatzidakis and Dr. DeRosa are widely known throughout Bedford High School as a quirky dynamic duo in the humanities department, teaching mainly Roots of Thought Honors. Students regularly comment that they are welcoming, goofy, and an all-around power team. Whether it’s their major height difference, rapper names, or “Tracksuit Tuesday” traditions that make them so famous at BHS, they are undeniably fan favorites.
Mrs. Hatzidakis, also known as Hatz or Hatzi, has wanted to be a teacher since middle school and originally planned to one day teach elementary school. However, once she started teaching high schoolers, she never stopped. Hatzidakis majored in East Asian Studies in college and knows Chinese so well she can shock you with some impressive Chinese phrases. Along with Roots of Thought Honors, she is a Creative Writing and In-Writing teacher and can be found outside of school doing activities such as reading, quilting, or caring for one of her many cats, dogs, parakeets, and ducks. Hatzi has a dream for Bedford High School that one day more options for collaboration in school will be offered to uncover the links between other subjects, such as English and Science. Hatz is good for a funny story, a cute graphic t-shirt, or a word of encouragement.
Dr. DeRosa, also known as D-Rose, was inspired throughout her life to become a teacher. Her Aunt is an art teacher, which influenced D-Rose to work in the field of education. D-Rose’s high school teacher/role model also encouraged her to propose a women’s study course, which is still taught today. She went on to major in history with a focus on women’s studies in college. Her first teaching job was as a social studies teacher in the Hollis-Brookline School District, but thankfully she transferred to Bedford High School in 2022 to participate in the co-teaching program. D-Rose also teaches IB Social and Cultural Anthropology, and along with Hatzi is the advisor for the Social Justice Now Club at BHS. Outside of class, she spends her time with her family, her dogs Honey and Zosa, and being outside as often as possible.
The choice of combining English and history in one co-taught humanities class has become more popular in recent years and draws many teachers to Bedford. In Bedford High School, there is generally one history teacher and one English teacher on each team. In this case, Hatzi is the English specialist, and D-Rose is history-curious. The dual-teaching method works well by, for example, integrating the class’s history curriculum with the class’s current novel. Hatzi notes that she always taught English-based classes, but the classes were filled with historical context, showing the natural overlap between history and English. If one’s brain is already working like that, why not combine the two?
One of the many things that students love about Hatz and D-Rose is their bond. Seeing such a strong friendship between two teachers is amazing, and they are a perfect example of a strong professional relationship. Having such a model is important to show students the importance of camaraderie between coworkers.
Mrs. Hatzidakis and Dr. DeRosa’s claim to fame may have to be “Tracksuit Tuesday.” These icons have created a weekly tradition of wearing colorful, and sometimes even matching tracksuits. It is hard to see a 6’2” Hatz next to a 4’11” D-Rose in matching tracksuits without cracking a smile. The weekly tradition began back at the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show, says Hatz. When Snoop Dogg came out in a bandana tracksuit, Hatzidakis had to have it. And so, “Tracksuit Tuesday” was born.
When asked for their advice to Bedford High School students, Hatz and D-Rose gathered some words of wisdom. Hatz says to make sure you “fill your bucket,” meaning you should do things you enjoy with the time you have control over. D-Rose agreed, adding that “people should do what makes them happy, not just what they think they should do”.
Hatz and D-Rose are immensely loved at Bedford High School, and for good reason. They are warm, welcoming, and easy to talk to. They make their lessons fun and relatable and always put their best effort into their jobs. Hats off to Hatz and D-Rose!