By Maia Difiglia and Beryl Rosenberg
For the 2018-2019 school year, Oyster Bay is happy to welcome many new teachers to the district. Mrs. Powell, a new science teacher, is excited to begin the year here at Oyster Bay High School.
After growing up in Huntington, Mrs. Powell attended the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. After receiving her degree, she worked as a science teacher in New York City for 10 years. She then moved back to Long Island with her husband and 3-year-old son, Wright. She has taught second grade, as well as grades 5-12, but overall Mrs. Powell prefers to teach older students.
Mrs. Powell says that this is her first time teaching in a school that contains grades 7-12. She would like to get to know all the students at OBHS, but working in a building that contains six grades in total makes that more challenging. She has also never taught 8th grade students and high school students at the same time.
OBHS’s newest science teacher did not always want to be a teacher, but she eventually realized that she wanted students to understand science at a younger age than she did. Though science was not her favorite subject in high school, Mrs. Powell still liked Earth Science. She studied Geology in college and loved learning how the earth has changed since its formation. This led her to become an Earth Science teacher later on. Mrs. Powell’s favorite science units to teach cover minerals and the body system.
Mrs. Powell also shared her goals for this year; one such goal is to get to know her students and colleagues better. She is very passionate about connecting with her students and getting to know them. She gives out surveys to see what their hobbies and interests are so she can see how she can relate to her students personally. She mainly wants to know how her students view themselves.
Knowing that many of her students are already nervous about the Earth Science Regents, Mrs. Powell offered good advice. She simply stated, “If you work hard and do the things I tell you, you’ll be okay.”
Even though Mrs. Powell also loved art and math in the past, if she could teach any other class now, it would not be either of those subjects. She said, “I’d want to teach either a class called The Theory of Knowledge which is the study of how we know what we know, or, I’d be interested in Mineralogy because I love studying minerals and rocks.”
On a more personal note, Mrs. Powell shared some of her interests and hobbies. She explained that she enjoys reading young adult books, preferably by John Greene. She also loves finding new recipes to cook for her friends and family. As for favorite TV shows, she loves Game of Thrones.
Mrs. Powell is also an avid traveler. If she had to live anywhere other than New York, Mrs. Powell would reside in Ireland, being that this is her favorite vacation spot and she is of Irish heritage.
It’s clear that Mrs. Powell seems eager and excited to teach her new students this year, and she hopes that they will be just as eager to learn.