From Diepolz to Damascus to the Dairyland: Roumani reflects

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From Diepolz to Damascus to the Dairyland: Roumani reflects

Ms. Manal Roumani works at her desk as a computer science teacher.

Ms. Manal Roumani works at her desk as a computer science teacher.

Ms. Manal Roumani works at her desk as a computer science teacher.

Ms. Manal Roumani works at her desk as a computer science teacher.

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Roughly 150 miles northeast of Düsseldorf, computer science teacher, Ms. Manal Roumani, was born in Diepholz, Germany to a Syrian mother and father. Roumani spent the first four years of her life in Germany before moving to Damascus, Syria with her family. While her immediate family had lived in Germany, all her other family members still resided in Syria.

“My grandma, my aunts, my cousins, my uncles all live there,” Roumani said. Moving to Syria meant starting at a new school. Roumani explains how she began kindergarten in Damascus, and was there until fourth grade. Schools in Syria required students to take a second language, either French or English. She chose to learn English, a language that would help her in just a few years time.

Roumani recalls her life in Damascus as very family oriented. “There is a lot more family orientation in Syria,” Roumani said. “There are a lot more things you do with family in general; that’s just how the culture is.” Besides family, another difference she noticed between the United States and Syria is transportation. “The cities are a lot more crowded, and most people walk [in Syria],” Roumani said.

After living in Syria until she was ten years old, Roumani moved to Pennsylvania while her father was looking for residency in the United States. In fifth grade, Roumani moved to the States with her family to a small town called Lebanon. Here they spent two short years while her dad maintained residency before he could begin looking for work.

By the end of seventh grade, Roumani made her final move to Milwaukee, where her dad found employment. She started eighth grade in Milwaukee and finished her high school career at Nicolet High School. As for post-high school plans, Roumani fell in love with computer science.

“One of my cousins went into computer science as a major, and when I started researching what that was, I absolutely loved it,” Roumani said. She took her first few computer science classes at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “When I took my first intro to computer science course, and then my first intro to programming, I loved the fact that as soon as you start programming, you can see the results,” Roumani said.

The problem solving and puzzles intrigued Roumani throughout her courses. Once she finished her degree, she gave birth to her first child, and explained how being a working mom was not an option for her. “Working at a company all day and putting her in daycare was something that I was not very fond of,” Roumani explained.

When her son was born two years later, Roumani continued teaching the occasional fitness class that she had taught while she had her daughter. Over this time Roumani discovered a new passion: teaching. A 9 to 5 job behind a desk was never something that excited her, so she found teaching to be the perfect balance of her love for computer science while being active in the classroom.

Once she received her teaching license, Roumani began to apply for computer science teaching positions in the area. She taught at a private school as a math teacher, and at New Berlin Eisenhower as a computer science teacher before moving to Homestead last year.

The 2019-2020 school year will be Roumani’s second year as a teacher at Homestead. “Homestead truly promotes academic excellence and I feel privileged to be able to contribute to this mission and hopefully get students excited about computer science and the many doors it opens in their future endeavors,” Roumani said.