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Get To Know Dr. Muyo

An infectious smile and warm aura newly walks the halls. Dr. Kristen Muyo who teaches Freshman and Sophomore Literature and Composition just finished her first year here at CB. I first met Dr. Muyo at Kairos where her bubbly nature was palpable — I had no idea her lessons extended through the underclassmen. Her journey in […]

An infectious smile and warm aura newly walks the halls. Dr. Kristen Muyo who teaches Freshman and Sophomore Literature and Composition just finished her first year here at CB. I first met Dr. Muyo at Kairos where her bubbly nature was palpable — I had no idea her lessons extended through the underclassmen.

Her journey in teaching was unwavering. “I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” she shares. “In fact, in fifth grade we had to do a career day project and I picked being a teacher.” It seems that her caring nature started young because “even with my friends as a kid, whenever they had problems, I was always the one they came to for help, and so it’s always been this inherent thing that I wanted to do.”

Her biggest influence in becoming a teacher is, “a love of learning and wanting to talk about it with other people, to hear their thoughts on things, to get different perspectives and, to understand different approaches.” 

While helping students has always been a passion, her nonlinear journey in teaching took several stops before landing in the home of the Falcons. 

“When I went to college, I started out majoring in art history and decided that I couldn’t teach high school even though I wanted to because I was like ‘art history isn’t really a thing in high school,’ so I better go get an advanced degree and teach at the college level instead because that’s where they have art history.”

“I wanted to study abroad in my junior year and I had to take Italian before that, and I decided at that moment if I liked Italian I would go to Florence; if i didn’t, then I would go to England and not have to study another language and that launched me on my second major in Italian Studies.” 

One passion led her to another, and from there she went to UC Davis for a masters in Art History. “It was a terminal program, so I always had to go somewhere else to get the PhD to be able to be a college professor.” However, Dr. Muyo found herself making the choice between art history and Italian studies. In planning for teaching college students, she then attended UC Berkeley to pursue a doctorate Italian literature. 

But life happens.

“I got married and my husband got a really good job at UC Davis while I was finishing up my grad program. I had this opportunity to go on a postdoc to be a researcher and instructor at Oxford. It was the hardest decision I had to make.” 

”I ultimately turned it down because I didn’t want him to have to suffer because he was happy at his job.” In doing so, Dr. Muyo began to think about teaching high school students again. “I wouldn’t make a different choice. It was the best decision. I would make it over and over again because family and life are so much more important than just a job.”

While sifting through high school positions and job openings is tedious, Dr. Muyo luckily found Christian Brothers. ”It kind of felt fated and destiny because I really did want to come back to high school and didn’t know how because of my field.” But then it all worked out. “It’s been such a journey but a wonderful twist of fate that brought me here.”

Her adorable dog Apollo posing for the camera.

She describes her first year as “intense and surprising” while also acknowledging the “amazingness of people” in admiration for her colleagues and students. “I went to elementary, middle, and high school all at the same school. There were only 60 kids in my class. So coming here was definitely a culture shock just by the sheer number of students who are in each grade level.” 

Participating in Kairos was her favorite thing to be a part of this year. “It was so amazing to be with all of you, not teaching you, but just to be in a different space and getting to know everyone. It’s something that I’ve told all of my students they have to do when they’re seniors.” 

She loves to cook and bake, “and to watch all the cooking and baking shows.” She also loves spending time outside, “to go for hikes or walks especially with my puppy.” And of course, she loves to go to the occasional art museum.

One thing her students may not know about her is her love for musicals. “I wish I could sing and dance so badly but I can’t, so I live vicariously through the theater.” Jesus Christ Superstar takes the cake in being her favorite musical. 

Dr, Muyo’s biggest piece of advice for high schoolers is to ”always follow your passion. Even if you don’t think it’s going to make you the most money, you’ll only be successful if you love what you’re doing. And if you really don’t enjoy what you’re doing, then why would you want to do it?”

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