Andrea is our Science teacher and part of Association House High School. She shares with us favorite female figure, Jane Goodall, and how the quote, "the greatest danger to our future is apathy," inspires her teachings every day. In honor of Women's History Month, she highlights the women who have influenced her life and shares why we need more women in science leadership roles.
What is your favorite part of your experience with Association House?
The people at Association House High School are definitely the best part about working here. We are a team of teachers, mentors, and support staff that are truly dedicated to helping our students. We learn from each other, respect each other, and care about each other. Plus we have fun together! I think students can sense this difference compared to their former educational experiences. I love that at AHHS, thanks to our smaller class sizes, I have the opportunity to get to know students and help them grow from where they are. I’m continually inspired by our students’ resilience through adversity, and I love that we can be a safe space where they can realize their potential and find success.
Is there a woman that has influenced you the most in your life?
I have been lucky enough to have many strong women as role models throughout my life. My family is full of strong-minded, driven, but also kind women. I remember many great teachers, especially Ms. Parker, my seventh-grade life science teacher. She encouraged me to ask questions every day, monitor stream health by collecting bugs, and first showed me pond water under a microscope. I wish I could find her to say, “Thank you!” all these years later. I also had many great coaches and got to go to college on a sports scholarship thanks to Title IX. Sports gave me confidence and perseverance. Finally, I have gotten to work with so many amazing women, who do a great job of supporting and learning from each other. Women make great teammates!
Why do we need more women in leadership?
I want to change this question to, “Why do we need more women in science leadership?” Science is all about making observations about the world around us, asking questions, and drawing conclusions. We need more people from diverse backgrounds and experiences in order to do better science. We need more women and minorities in science leadership. People often picture a scientist as an older, white male, and we need to change this perception. Scientific leaders drive research choices by investigating the world with which they are familiar. By having scientists with a wider background of experiences, we can ask better questions and learn so much more. Additionally, more diverse scientists can connect better with their communities through language and culture, so we can keep recruiting better scientists for our future.
What female historical figure inspires you to be a leader?
Growing up, I always wanted to be Jane Goodall. She was patient and observant about the natural world, loved to read, and was curious about everything, especially animals. Early in her career, she was brave and willing to go out into the jungles of Africa to make observations of chimpanzees in their natural environment. Before that, most of our knowledge about chimpanzees was based on research done in laboratories. Her years of dedicated research on chimps in the wild revolutionized how we perceive our closest primate relatives in the animal kingdom. Thereby, it completely changed how we perceive ourselves. Her research helped us feel more connected to all life on earth, and feel the responsibility to protect it. My favorite Jane Goodall quote is, “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” That quote inspires my teaching every day.