Diane and Christina Salvitelli are mother-daughter Catholic school teachers.
Diane and Christina Salvitelli are mother-daughter Catholic school teachers.
Diane and Christina Salvitelli are mother and daughter Catholic educators, although Diane isn’t sure how that happened. “Christina’s wanted to teach since she was a preschooler,” Diane says. “I didn’t encourage or discourage.”

Christina says she was 5 years old when she decided on being a teacher, and it sounds as though she came to that decision for much the same reason her mom did.

Diane didn’t actually know that she wanted to be a teacher that early in her life, but she did know that she wanted to work with children. Diane was a  assistant at Our Lady of Sorrows for seven years and has been an assistant at the Madeleine for nine years.

Knowing exactly what she wanted to do has allowed Christina to “move quick,” as she puts it. At 23, she’s a physical education teacher at Holy Cross School in North Portland.

She’s already got eight years experience working in Catholic schools because she began working in the afterschool care program at the Madeleine when she was a high school junior. She loved the work and by her senior year in college was helping to train new employees. She has substitute taught in archdiocesan schools and did her student teaching — with the third grade class — at Holy Cross.

She’s also receiving her master’s degree in educational leadership this month from Concordia.

Both women love Catholic schools. “There’s a sense of community in Catholic schools,” says Christina. “Everybody knows everybody — it’s one big family.”

Christina’s was the last eighth grade class to graduate from Our Lady of Sorrows, a Catholic school closure that still makes her sad.

“I grew up in a Catholic school. I feel more comfortable there,” says Diane. “The Madeleine feels like my second home.”

Diane Salvitelli says she knew another mother-daughter pair of Catholic educators, but then that mother retired and the daughter decided to stay at home to raise her children.

The Salvitellis may be the only pair in the archdiocese.