THE HAMMONTONIAN | FEBRUARY 2023 | P . 27
THE FINAL WORD
Stacy Gerst , 40 , has been teaching since 2004 and she has been with the Hammonton School District for more than 10 years . Gerst is a teacher of English at the high school and serves as the yearbook advisor and oversees the Devils Advocate with her journalism students . She also serves on the Hammonton Education Foundation and is a building rep for the Hammonton Education Association . Stacy and her husband Jonathan have two kids Anna , 14 and son , Jack , 10 . Stacy is a 2000 graduate of Hammonton High School .
What is the last dream you remember ?
I can ’ t remember , if you had asked me earlier ... My dreams often involve work and school and things going wrong that I have to deal with . I do have a dream at the beginning of every school year that I don ’ t know where my classroom is and I can ’ t make copies .
When is the last time you cried ?
Crying I do a lot of too . I cried hysterically when I saw Les Miserables in November at the Kimmel Center . There is so much loss . It is so beautiful . I also cried at the end of Wakanda Forever . Chadwick Boseman dying .
When is the last time you indulged ?
Two nights ago , I was really tired after I worked at school and I worked a photography job for a friend . And we indulged with Talenti coconut ice cream and watched “ Seinfeld ” episodes until we
fell asleep on the couch . And I regretted the decision the next morning .
When is the last time you challenged authority ?
I am constantly questioning how many of our practices are just of tradition vs . how God sees us , especially women ’ s roles . Do our traditional practices hold back the church ? I think it does . I think we need to be comfortable with thinking outside the box .
What is the last book you read ?
Faster by Claire Keegan who is an Irish author . They read her in the schools there . NPR and The New Yorker recommended it . It was more of a short story / novella . I think it would be better enjoyed in a lit circle . Reading it by myself I didn ’ t quite see the depth .
When is the last time you laughed , a good laugh ?
I laugh a lot at dumb stuff but belly laugh is a harder think . I honestly cannot remember . My laugh is obnoxious . I didn ’ t realize that until I did a podcast . ( Gerst called back less than 15 minutes after the interview concluded .) We went to a comedy show two weeks ago in New York and saw Mike Birbiglia . He was very funny .
When is the last time you raised your voice ?
Today while I was chaperoning the art museum trip . I don ’ t think many of these students had been on a field in a trip in a while . Their behavior left something to be desired .
If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life , what would it be ?
Sushi . I think it fills you without feeling fat .
When is the last time you took “ me ” time ?
Two weekends ago I did a girls ’ weekend with my college friends . We meet up once a year in some location . [ We live in ] Oregon , Nashville and New Jersey . We went to New Orleans , Louisiana . We did a jazz cruise , took a cooking class , took a ghost tour . We ate good food . We gambled a little .
What was the last political conversation you had ?
I talk about it . I don ’ t get wrapped up in it . In the car today , my daughter said , “ Guess who talked about Trump today ?” I said , “ I don ’ t want to talk about politics right now . Let ’ s listen to some music .”
When is the last you went for a walk in Hammonton ?
Probably last week , walking the dog in the town . We go down Grape Street to South Liberty then we wrap around on Peach Street .
What is the last movie you saw in the theater ?
Wakanda Forever . We are a big marvel family since the pandemic . I had never watched any of them until my students brought it up . They made me watch Avengers . I liked Avengers . My family liked Avengers . Then we saw one of the lists . We watched them all . We did Star Wars too .
When was the last time you danced ?
STACY GERST ( RIGHT ) WITH HER HUSBAND , JONATHAN .
I danced in the car last night when Lizzo was on , any time a Lizzo song comes on .
When is the last family vacation ?
It is a sore subject with my kids . We did not go anywhere last year . John and I went to France last summer . We did not take the kids . We did go to New York for the day over winter break . I think it was a couple of years ago to Florida . We went to Water- Color and Seaside . I highly recommend it .
When is the last time you engaged social media snooping ?
I was searching to see if someone I knew had a Facebook account . They did not .
They did the week before and I don ’ t know why it went away .
What is the final words of advice you give your students June ?
I don ’ t have a lot of seniors . I guess I try to advise my juniors . I try to give them advice to embrace senior year and not being in a rush to leave senior year . They are often in a rush , and then at the end of the year , they fondly miss what was good at the time . My advice for seniors is you don ’ t have to have everything figured out but you do have to work toward something .
— Gina Rullo
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