By Caleigh O'Toole
Oyster Bay High School was lucky enough to welcome many new teachers and staff members to our community this year. Among the many newcomers is Mrs. Keegan Harris. The Oswego State University alumnus joined our OBHS family as a 9th Grade Advanced World History and Participation in Government teacher.
Mrs. Harris is in her 13th year of teaching and is excited to be working at OBHS. Being that Mrs. Harris has been teaching for so long, I wanted to know what initially piqued her interest in becoming an educator. Mrs. Harris says, “When I was twelve years old, my mother had me watch Schindler's List. I remember crying hysterically after the film and asking her why she had me watch something so sad. She simply said, ‘If you want to change the future, you have to learn from the past.’ That was the moment I knew I wanted to become a social studies teacher.”
With her passion for teaching and exposing children to newfound ways of making a difference, Mrs. Harris plans to “help students navigate through these challenging times and to help them continue to be engaged in the learning process.” Mrs. Harris is adamant about ensuring all of her students feel comfortable and ready to learn.
In light of the pandemic, I asked Mrs. Harris what the most challenging part about teaching has been for her. She shares that with online learning, her students miss out on hands on activities that she loves creating for them. Mrs. Harris is, however, hopeful that she will once again be able to have her students learn all about history through one of her favorite ways of teaching: simulations of historical events.
One of Mrs. Harris’s senior students told me that Mrs. Harris is making great efforts to stay connected to her students during this time. As we have progressed through different learning environments, Mrs. Harris has done a wonderful job adapting to partially remote learning.
In addition to teaching, Mrs. Harris loves to spend time with her family. She has three young girls. As for some fun facts, Mrs. Harris loves to ski, run and kayak. Lucky for her Oyster Bay High is minutes away from the beach. Additionally, her favorite food is “no question, pizza. Specifically, Angela’s Pizza in Islip.”
While Mrs. Harris is certainly passionate about her Islip pizza place, it seems that Oyster Bay High School offers some serious competition.