We are excited to welcome some new teachers to our team! They are sure to be a great addition and we look forward to see all that they will accomplish. Advancement Intern Erin Donovan ’20 had the opportunity to sit down with our new faculty and ask them how they became interested in teaching, what they are looking forward to this school year, and so much more! Below are their responses.
Bill Keenan: LTS Math
1. Where are you from? I was born and raised in Blue Bell, PA.
2. Where did you attend college? I attended the University of Scranton for my undergraduate degree in Finance. I decided to continue my educational path at La Salle University for my graduate studies in Secondary Education.
3. What got you interested in LTS Math/teaching? After graduating from the University of Scranton, I worked in the world of finance, where I then decided to pursue my calling to become a teacher. I have always had a passion for learning, especially in the field of Mathematics. Therefore, teaching has allowed me to share this passion while simultaneously making a difference, in children and young adults’ lives, by inspiring them to be better, push harder, and go further.
4. How did you find out about O’Hara? I have worked in the Philadelphia Archdiocese for close to 2 years now and I was looking to continue working in the Archdiocese. After hearing nothing but great things about the Cardinal O’Hara community, I jumped at the opportunity to become a part of it.
5. What are you most looking forward to this upcoming school year? I am looking forward to meeting everyone that is involved at Cardinal O’Hara – faculty, students, and their families. I cannot wait for the school year to begin so I can build relationships with everyone involved in the Cardinal O’Hara community!
6. What are your favorite interests/hobbies outside of LTS Math and teaching?My favorite interests and hobbies include playing sports, coaching, going to the beach, and reading.
Ashley Jones: Social Studies
1. Where are you from? I am from Northeast Philadelphia. I attended Archbishop Ryan High School.
2. Where did you attend college? I attended Temple University.
3. What got you interested in social studies/teaching? I always knew I wanted to be a teacher from an early age. I never knew exactly which subject or grade level I wanted to teach until I got a little older. I had a teacher in 8th grade, Mrs. Taylor, who taught Social Studies in a way that made it exciting! I didn’t feel like I was just learning about the past; I felt like she was telling a story that directly impacted the way my life is today. I remember being so interested in history and I wanted to teach it in a way that got students excited like I was and still am.
4. How did you find out about O’Hara? I graduated from a Catholic High School and I believe the sense of community and education from Catholic schools is very important. O’Hara is in a neighborhood where my aunt lived and I grew up visiting her often. So, when Ms. Vice reached out with an opportunity to teach there this upcoming year, I was very interested.
5. What are you most looking forward to this upcoming school year? I am most looking forward to getting to know my students, of course. It has been a very difficult and trying time in education. I am looking forward to being able to teach in person and build those relationships with my students. I am also excited to be a part of the O’Hara community!
6. What are your favorite interests/hobbies outside of social studies and teaching? Outside of teaching and social studies, I am a mom to 7. My favorite thing to do is to watch them play in their sports/go to their activities. We like to spend time down the shore and have movie nights with a lot of candy. I am also a huge Broadway fan. I’m looking forward to seeing live shows again soon!
Matt Slutz: ELA
1. Where are you from? I am from Upper Merion, although I attended grade school in Bridgeport and high school in Norristown. I am a proud graduate of Kennedy Kenrick Catholic High School.
2. Where did you attend college? I didn’t go too far away for college. I went to Cabrini College, now Cabrini University. There, I met lifelong friends and mentors who would help shape my approach to life, and teaching and learning in the fields of English and religious studies.
3. What got you interested in ELA/teaching? It all started, of course, with my parents’ emphasis on reading and conversation. They encouraged me to read stories that I enjoyed as well as stories that I might not have totally liked but provided valuable lessons. Additionally, I paid attention to the news, sitcoms, and classic movies which helped with vocabulary and reading society. During my junior year of high school, my English teacher helped to facilitate an understanding of literature beyond the test or the expected responses. Later, three faculty at Cabrini would transform my writing process. I was challenged to synthesize many complex texts and ideas through blue book exams and detailed research papers. In my early professional life, I was fortunate to encounter two colleagues who have led rich lives as readers and writers. They taught me the value of using inquiry to get to the heart of an idea and how to express it clearly. Altogether, this helped me form a commitment to learning and helping others see the world more broadly through storytelling and writing.
4. How did you find out about O’Hara? Cardinal O’Hara High School is a familiar name. My parents worked in Delaware County, not too far from the school. O’Hara was a PCL rival in high school. Lastly, many of my fantastic student workers at Cabrini were graduates of Cardinal O’Hara High School. I have been aware of its commitment to a well-rounded Catholic education.
5. What are you most looking forward to this upcoming school year? I am excited to have a fresh start at O’Hara whose reputation is well known. I am looking forward to meeting my new colleagues and students.
6. What are your favorite interests/hobbies outside of ELA and teaching? When my nose isn’t buried in a book, I love playing golf and basketball. I hope to play in a rec league (basketball) this fall or winter. I am looking forward to attending concerts again this fall. I like going to new restaurants, so if y’all have any recommendations, please share them with me. Traveling is high on my list of hobbies as well. Seeing new places and meeting new people is fun and interesting. Last but not least, I value spending time with my family. Oh, and I can’t forget going on adventures or vegging out with my dog Vinny.