Marcie Curcie, an Anza native, is the new math/electives teacher at Idyllwild Middle School. Photo by Marshall Smith
Marcie Curcie, an Anza native, is the new math/electives teacher at Idyllwild Middle School.
Photo by Marshall Smith

Marcie Curcie is beginning her second year of teaching, her first at Idyllwild Middle School, as math/electives teacher. But because her husband was active duty in the Marines, she worked in accounting and began to raise her three boys before turning to teaching.

The Menifee resident received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and minor in business from University College, the University of Maryland. She received her teaching credential from the University of Redlands.

Born in Anza, Curcie graduated from Hamilton High School. After receiving her credential, Curcie taught applied Algebra, Algebra II and Geometry for one year at Vista High School in Vista. She’ll be teaching math (sixth, seventh and eighth, and Algebra I) at Idyllwild Middle School.

Regarding the move from business to teaching, Curcie said, “I’d always wanted to be a teacher because I love children. Math has always come easy to me and I believe our students need more critical-thinking ability.”

Evaluating the move from high school to middle school, Curcie smiled and said, “At the high-school level you can’t be as dorky or as much of a nerd as I am.” She explained that at the middle-school grade levels she felt freer to be herself and to try different things. “Also, it’s smaller, and with smaller schools and classrooms you get to do more. At Vista, my high-school math department had 15 teachers. Here [at Idyllwild Middle School] it’s just me. While I was a student at Hamilton High I was involved with cheerleading, ASB, softball and band. At small schools you can do all these things.”

Curcie is currently working on her master’s degree in science in education with a concentration in integrating technology in the classroom. “I should complete the degree by this spring,” she said.

At Idyllwild Middle School, Curcie plans to focus her students on critical thinking and problem solving. “I want to have them think on their own and problem solve using what they know: What do I know and how can I use what I know to solve this problem? What can I try even if it doesn’t work out the first time?”

Curcie said it’s important for students to be creative in problem solving and not just wait around for the answer. One wall of her classroom is covered with Curcie’s educational mantras of encouragement to her students — her own critical and creative thinking.