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Loyce Veryser

 

Year Joined MKLM: 2018

Country: Tanzania

City: Mwanza

Focus: Education

Project(s): Teaching Mathematics

Population 1 Served: secondary students

Description: Long-time teacher at Kitangiri Secondary School, where she teaches math and is in administration.

Current Ministry:

I teach mathematics to high school students at a resource-poor government school in Mwanza. I decided to teach mathematics because here in Tanzania we have a shortage of science and mathematics teachers and the school I teach serves a community in great need. We have more than one thousand students but only two math teachers! I love my job because I help students from poor families. Most of my students’ parents work manual labor jobs—fishing or in small shops—so they can’t afford to pay the expensive school fees of private schools (government schools do not have fees). I also serve as an “academic Mistress,” which means that I am involved in planning the school schedule and checking on progress of classes on the syllabus.

Students I’ve taught have gone on to be doctors, researchers, business people, other teachers and civil servants for example. Most of them tend to stay in Mwanza as professionals and it’s so rewarding to see them succeed in life. Being in Maryknoll now allows me to continue with what I have been doing, but through a fresh perspective as service and vocation through my faith and with support from fellow missioners.

I also support our community of teachers as a treasurer for our women’s savings and loan group. In the past I have facilitated a math club, taught religion, health and life-skills, coordinated tree planting on the campus and been a facilitator for the TYCS (Tanzania Young Catholic Student) association at school. I’ve also served as coordinator of student scholarships for another organization.

Project Goals:

My goal is always that more students will pass secondary school and succeed to reach their next levels of education and in their careers. In addition to academic knowledge, I hope that they will also learn integrity and good character from having me as a teacher..

Personal Data:

Loyce is from the town of Bukoba in northwest Tanzania, on the western shores of Lake Victoria. She has been teaching high school math for 16 years in government school in Mwanza. She has a teaching certificate from Morogoro Teachers College and a Bachelors of Arts in Education from Tumaini University in Iringa, Tanzania. She was also selected to participate in a teacher-training program called Strengthening Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (SIPSE), which was held in 2015-16.

She met her husband, Steve Veryser, when he was a teacher in the U.S. Peace Corps and placed at a nearby school, where he was also teaching math and science. They’ve been married for 12 years and are the parents of Abigail, Justin and Claire (10, 10 and 8 years old). Loyce has been active in local Catholic parishes and student groups. Loyce is close to her extended family. Loyce’s family has a history of involvement in the church. Actually one of the first four ordained Tanzanian priests was a close relative of Loyce’s grandfather. He was ordained in 1917. Her younger sister also followed a vocation into religious life, joining the Sisters of the Immaculate of St. Clare, with whom she currently serves in Italy.