I had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Bina Pittman, one of the many new teachers to join the Mount Saint Joseph community. Her childhood and prior jobs have led her to a very successful career, and we are glad that she chose to spend time at Saint Joe. Ms. Pittman was born and raised in upstate New York and attended predominantly white schools. From kindergarten to her senior year of high school, she was the only African-American student in her school. From there, she attended Florida A&M university where she earned her Bachelor’s degree and Morgan State University where she earned her Master’s degree, both in English.
Prior to Ms. Pittman’s 15 year teaching career, she worked at the Tallahassee airport for two years, at the 4-H Camp as a counselor for 2 summers, and at the 4C’s Daycare Center for two years. In her tenured teaching career she has taught both the 9th and 11th grades at Woodlawn High School for two years, at the Charles Hickey Detention Center in Carney, Maryland for seven years, and CCBC for 8 years. She completed her student-teaching internships on an Air Force Base at Sembach Middle School in Germany. It’s safe to say Ms. Pittman knows what she’s doing in the classroom.
Having traveled all over the world, Ms. Pittman has gotten the opportunity to learn about many different cultures and traditions. She lived in Kaiserslautern, Germany for 4 months and traveled to France, Italy, and Switzerland. When asked, she said the two places she most wants to visit in the future are India and Japan. In her life outside of campus, Ms. Pittman enjoys cycling, yoga, reading, and shopping. She loves to watch track and field, and her favorite professional sports teams are the Dallas Cowboys, LA Lakers, and UNC Tarheels. Ms. Pittman also enjoys art and theater: she loves festivals like Artscape, and she loves watching anything at the Hippodrome.
When asked what she expects out of her students, she said “I want them to stay compassionate and humane as they pursue their academic and personal goals at MSJ.” Our core virtues are Compassion, Simplicity, Humility, Trust and Zeal, and she wants them to utilize these values to lead them to have a successful and humble career. Enduring personal relationships is another thing that Saint Joe is known for, and Ms. Pittman believes that this is a very important thing to practice going forward in one’s life.
On a more personal note, I asked Ms. Pittman if she had any role models in her life because I believe that admiration and ambition are very important traits to have. One person she really looks up to is her father. Her father, an African-American man, was born into a very large, very poor family in the south. He overcame these obstacles and was able to graduate high school as the valedictorian of his class. He also was the first person in his nuclear family to earn a college degree. “He is a very kind, wise, and altruistic man. He is family oriented; he always prioritizes our nuclear and extended family in anything he does, and he and my mother have been happily married for 45 years.” Ms. Pittman’s father seems like a truly great and inspirational man.
Overall, Ms. Pittman has an incredible story which has led her to Saint Joe, and I’m sure her time here will encourage and inspire the next generation of Mount Men.