I entered Imago in fourth grade and remember immediately being surrounded by a new group of welcoming friends- I was even invited for play dates before school started. Coming from a public school setting to a private school with only seven students in my class could have been seen as a drastic change. Instead, I was warmly welcomed. I remember appreciating the individual and small group attention as well as the friendly environment, coupled with high expectations for both behavior and academics.
I graduated from Imago in 1998 after having spent five years there, from grades 4 through 8. I then attended Nashoba Regional High School. I remember being shocked the first week of school at how students were actually talking when their teachers were teaching! I also remember being naively prideful of my abilities- that I had already written research papers at Imago; I was able to go right into Latin 2 and sophomore English and could write a well-developed paper with ease. This talent, however, all came at an enormous cost. I will never forget painstakingly taking notes for research papers on individual index cards and compiling a research paper made out of hundreds of these sentences. It goes without saying that Imago incredibly prepared me for my further education.
Because of Imago’s introduction to the Arts, I also became immediately involved in Nashoba’s drama program and student government. I was elected president of my class for three years. I attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie New York and received my bachelors in Psychology and teaching certificates in Elementary Education and Moderate Disabilities. From there, I received my Masters’ in Literacy and Language from Framingham State. Right after college, I was hired by the Town of Billerica and I have been here ever since. For the first four years, I was a special education teacher for grades K-3, and have been a fourth grade teacher for the past 6 years.
I carry the same tradition that Mrs. Hoffrage introduced me to and read my students The Indian in the Cupboard every year. I always loved read-aloud time, especially as she changed her voice for each character and knew that would be something I would carry on. Some of my favorite memories were the “grand conversations” held around the table in fourth grade when Mrs. Hoffrage discussed our stories with us. Mrs. Beals’ condensation science experiments where we mixed rock salt and ice water and waited for the results and, unknowingly, killed all the bulbs the school custodian had just planted outside; dressing up as Charlemagne in my coat of arms; finding Miss Ward’s clothes in a bathroom during Winterfest and documenting the evidence with our Polaroid camera (I may still have the picture); practicing for Lessons and Carols and making sure I rang the bell with perfect timing; eating maple syrup and pickles on snow; the week long 7th and 8th grade trips to New York and Washington D.C. where my love for LesMiserables started- How lucky we were to have these trips!
Imago fostered in me a love of learning which has grown into a passion for educating the next generation of students who walk through my classroom doors. Because of Imago I have lifelong friends and cherished memories. For these, among countless other things, I am always grateful.
*administrative edit: Imago is proud to share Bethany's accomplishment as a prize winning educator here: http://billerica.wickedlocal.com/article/20140425/News/140427440