Meet Ms. O’Rourke: A New Teacher at J-DHS

Source: Ms. O'Rourke
  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m from Marcellus, NY. I received my undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University and my masters degree from Le Moyne College. I played lacrosse, and now coach it. I played hockey, I like to skate, and I enjoy watching the Boston Red Sox. I love hiking, camping, and being outdoors. A favorite hobby of mine is reading. I am passionate about my career – being a better teacher everyday, connecting with and learning from my students and colleagues. I am also interested in social justice and connecting it to what/how I teach. A fun fact about me is that I still have a baby tooth (no adult tooth underneath it).

  1. Why did you want to become a teacher?

I’ve always loved learning and school. My favorite class growing up was Social Studies and I had some amazing/inspiring teachers.  As I grew older I realized I loved working with students and didn’t want a job where I would have to sit at a desk or in an office all day. My job is different, exciting and challenging everyday and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

  1. What made you want to teach at Jamesville-DeWitt High School?

It’s a great district with a great reputation. The community is very supportive of the district, there are lots of exciting opportunities here for staff and students alike, and I believe in the changes and growth that the district has undertaken recently with several of their equity and diversity initiatives.

  1. How has the first month of teaching at J-D been?

COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions are much easier this year than last year. Having all of the students back in person and able to work with paper materials and in small groups has made teaching/school much more enjoyable. Nothing in teaching is easy, but I have great students and I’m very happy to have them all in person and working together a bit back to pre-COVID “normal.” Something that is difficult about teaching is that I never feel like I have enough time to get everything done! That’s pretty par for the course though. I enjoy teaching all of my classes, and I look forward to getting to take my mask off at the end of the day too! My favorite memory so far has been seeing my Global 10 students make really awesome products for their Unit 1 projects. Another favorite is observing my Global 9 students discuss why the movie Ice Age is from the Paleolithic Era and asking what type of animal Sid the Sloth is…

  1. What is one thing that you would ask of your students while they’re in your classroom?  

Be respectful – of each other, the classroom environment and of me.

  1. What do you hope to accomplish later in your career? 

I hope someday to travel with my students to places we learn about in Global. For example, I’d love to take students to Italy to learn about the Renaissance or Germany to learn more about World War II and the Cold War, or Mexico/South America to learn about Central American civilizations. A trip to Washington DC to see more about how our government works would also be great.

Grace Evans, '22
Grace Evans is a senior at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Grace enjoys writing both professionally and personally. In addition to RamPage, she is involved in RamFeed and a few other clubs. Grace is also the Student Board of Education Representative at J-D.