New Science Teacher, Molly McConnell, Excited for Start of Year


Nick Bumgardner, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

This fall the NDA science department welcomes its newest addition—Ms. Molly McConnell.

A Michigan native, McConnell will be entering her eleventh year of teaching.

McConnell possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and Biological Aspects of Conservation from UW-Madison, a teaching license from UW-Stevens Point and a Masters of Education for Curriculum and Instruction at Loyola University Chicago.

This school year, she will be teaching two sections of honors biology and two sections of probability and statistics.

“I come from a family of teachers—I have a great-grandma who was a teacher, a great-aunt, an aunt, my mom, two cousins, and my brother are all teachers…I knew it was in my blood,” she said.

Upon graduation, McConnell spent the first few years of her career working with children as part of a Catholic outdoors camp.

Whether it’s camping, canoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, enjoying a campfire, or walking her new dog, McConnell loves spending her time outside.

As a teacher, she prides herself on her ability to connect with her students.

“My favorite quote about teaching is, ‘Teach like Jesus; love people first.’  My goal as a teacher is to make sure every student feels safe, known and cared for in my class,” McConnell explained.

As for the start of school, McConnell remains optimistic.

“I’m excited to see students’ faces again…Spring was hard for all of us. It has been nice, these last few days, to have a chance to share a laugh with students in person and even on Zoom,” she said.

“Even through this very strange start of school, the strength of this community is so apparent, and I’m excited to be a part of it,” McConnell continued.

“I can’t imagine starting at a new school in this pandemic time, but Ms. McConnell has done nothing but impress me with her enthusiasm and obvious ability.  Through orientation and the first week, she has been one heck of a workaholic–chipping in to help others when she probably needs to be doing her own preparation for school,” said veteran English teacher Carolyn Brown.  “I’m pretty confident the kids and parents are going to appreciate her a lot.”