One of our new St. Thomas Aquinas faculty is not altogether “new.” Brittany Colford is an STA Alumna (Class of 2009) who we are delighted to have as 2020-21 addition to our Science Department.
In casual conversation and when asked if she prefers Dunkin’ Donuts to a traditional Starbucks liquid treat, Brittany admits to having a fondness for both. “I choose Dunkin’ if it’s ice coffee season, Starbucks if it’s a hot coffee day!” With the weather and temperature shifting so frequently these days, it’s likely that both companies are getting her business!
Ms. Colford describes herself as “a dog person,” one who developed her canine fondness from “Snickers”- the Colford Family dog growing up. “She was a lab-hound mix who was super energetic and fun. She loved cheese sticks and would come running if she heard anyone open a wrapper from across the house.”
Among her many varied interests, Ms. Colford is an avid runner, hiker, and rock climber. She also enjoys mountaineering and shares this passion with her husband, Marco.
We collected Ms. Colford’s reflections on a few other subjects and share them here by way of introduction to an incredible woman who we are proud to add to our remarkable STA faculty.
What is one personal accomplishment that brings you the most pride?
Though I mostly consider myself a runner, I recently got into mountaineering because my husband Marco enjoys climbing in the glacier-covered mountains of Ecuador. Last year we climbed Cotopaxi, which is one of the tallest active volcanoes in the world. This year we climbed Chimborazo, the highest peak in the country and is the closest place on earth to the sun at 20,564 feet tall because of its location on the equator. These mountains can be dangerous both because of the extreme altitude and climate and also because of the steep and icy terrain, so I had to get used to using crampons and an ice axe, and walking while roped up together in a group called a cordada. I was the only woman to stand on the summit that day, and it was one of the coolest moments of my life!
What brought you (back) to St. Thomas Aquinas High School?
I arrived back here by chance! I never realized I would come back to STA, but am happy to have the opportunity to be here again.
What comes to your mind when you think about God?
Being outdoors, I feel God’s presence in nature.
If you had the power to change one problem in the world, what would it be?
Lowering carbon emissions. As Pope Francis speaks about in the encyclical Laudato Si, how we treat the environment is so closely tied with climate justice- the poorest in the world are the most disproportionately affected by our mistreatment of the planet. We have so much potential to change our practices and improve our world through our everyday actions towards a greener planet.
Your middle name is Rose- does it have a special significance?
Rose is my mom’s maiden name.
Of all the places you have traveled, which one is your favorite? Why?
The most profound, humbling, and eye-opening place I’ve traveled is Rwanda. The Rwandese have experienced unbelievable hardship for generations, yet they live their lives with this pure joy and faith despite the trauma and sadness that are ever-present. You can never live your life the same after seeing the depths of poverty and simplicity of their lives.
Who has been your favorite television character of all time?
Michael Scott from “The Office”!
What is the most memorable gift you have ever received? Why did it make such an impact?
When family and friends have come to visit Ecuador. My parents, most of my siblings, and some friends were able to come and explore gorgeous places in and around Quito. Since my husband is from Quito, our families are spread out among multiple continents, and it helps me realize that any time spent with family and friends is a precious gift.
What do you consider your greatest strength?
Courage. I like to push boundaries beyond my comfort zone, because I know that’s where you can find the most growth and test your limits. I value always trying to do the right thing in life, even if it’s the hardest option.
What is your fondest memory of your own high school experience?
Spending time with XC and track friends. I remember spaghetti dinners before meets, running the 4x400 relay at New England’s with the team. One memorable run was at the Campus Ministry Winterterm Retreat my senior year. A group of students from the track team went out for an early morning run, but we didn’t realize it was -15 degrees Fahrenheit. It was so cold our eyelashes and hair froze immediately and we had to sit next to the heater for 45 minutes to thaw out when we returned!
Who was your favorite teacher at STA “back in the day?”
I should probably say Mr. Holtz since he’s my department chair now… haha. Definitely loved Mr. Holtz’ AP Bio class, which played a huge role in helping me find a career path, but I also had several other great teachers whom I admire, many who are still around at STA, such as Mr. Couture, Señora Hanlon, Mr. Prince, Mr. McCafferty, and Mrs. Duprat.
If you could choose just one word to reflect that which you feel is most important in life, what word would you choose?
The world could always use more love.
We are very grateful to have Ms. Colford back at 197 Dover Point Road and look forward to adding fresh files to her already fond STA memories. Welcome Home!