SPARTA, NJ - Students in Sparta High School’s senior Women’s Studies classes were visited this week by two guest speakers, Laura Gilson and Anne Marie Truppo.

On Tuesday, Gilson, who graduated SHS in 2007, visited to speak about her experience as an English teacher in Indonesia, and as a current student at Stanford Law School.

During her year in Indonesia as a Fulbright Scholar, Gilson taught English to a class of young boys. She shared many anecdotes, giving insight into her experience. Gilson highly encouraged the seniors to study abroad in college, stating that it is “the best possible experience.”

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Gilson also spoke about her summer as an intern at The Hague International Criminal Court where she got to work behind the scenes on some of the year’s biggest cases.

On Thursday, Anne Maire Truppo visited to speak about her job as an SVU Detective at the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. She is a supervisor of the office’s sex crimes and child endangerment unit.  She also teaches response training courses.

When asked about what it is like to be a woman in law enforcement, Truppo said that sometimes she feels she has to work twice as hard to be seen as an equal. “I always try to brush off the snide comments,” said Truppo, “I have to use them to make myself better.”

Nicole Regelski asked Truppo if it is difficult to separate her work life from her home life. “I am on call 24/7,” she said, “so it is difficult to separate the two.” Truppo also said that it in SVU especially, it is difficult not to bring home her feelings about the troubling stories she hears on a daily basis.

“I have the quote ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ by Gandhi hanging in my cubicle,” she said, “it reminds me every day of why I chose this line of work.”

“Truppo really made an impression on me because I plan on going in to that profession,” said senior Nicole Bruno. “She made it seem so much more interesting than I already thought it was.”

When asked about why she wanted Gilson and Truppo to speak to her students, Women’s Studies teacher Kate Brennan said, “I’m all about exposing my students to the world beyond Sparta and the opportunities and careers that are available to them after they graduate.” She went on to add, “I want my students to be constantly open-minded and inspired.”