Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401
  • Home
    • Kathleen O'Hara
    • Ruby Hernandez
    • Sarah Ray
Back to Article
Back to Article

RETURNING TO THE HALLS: DREYFOOS ALUMNI

Hannah Baldwin

RETURNING TO THE HALLS: DREYFOOS ALUMNI

After their years as Dreyfoos students, teachers find their way back to high school as adults. Now, on the other side of the classroom, they share their experiences from behind the student’s desk to in front of the whiteboard. 

social studies teacher Kathleen O’Hara, theatre major, Class of 2004

Back to Article
Back to Article

social studies teacher Kathleen O’Hara, theatre major, Class of 2004

Sophia Roberts

Q: What is the difference between going to school then versus now, and why?

A: It was much more art-centered before. It has changed because society has put a lot of pressure on going to college. There are more people in South Florida, so it has just become more competitive. When kids are allowed to do the arts, they are usually able to do better in their other classes as well. So, this school started excelling academically. 

Q: What is your favorite part about being a teacher?

A: I think the students here are very mature, and I appreciate that. I like going to the jazz concerts, theatre performances, walking through Building 7, or going through Building 9 and seeing the art.

Q: What made you want to come back?

A: l knew I wanted to be a teacher because I had good teachers. This is the kind of school that, if you can get a job here, you retire here. You get the kids who want to do the work. It’s nice to have students that just want to participate. That’s why the teachers that are here stick it out—they have that career longevity. In a way, it’s easier to teach here because of that. 

Q: Where were you working before you came back?

A: I taught at G-Star [School of the Arts] and I liked it a lot. But on a more practical side, G-Star is a charter school and I came over here around the 2016 election. If the state had become democratically run, I didn’t know what the future of charter schools would be since Democrats tend to act negatively toward charter schools. I liked the artistic weirdness that they have there, but I started getting worried about job security. It was a great place. I wanted to stay in the artistic environment, and it’s nice to be working with the people who were my mentors.

communications teacher Ruby Hernandez, communications major, Class of 2007

Back to Article
Back to Article

communications teacher Ruby Hernandez, communications major, Class of 2007

Sophia Roberts

Q: What was it like coming back to Dreyfoos as a teacher?

A: It’s really interesting to see the other side of things. When you’re in school, you think about yourself because that’s what you should be doing. Coming back as a teacher, you see things from a totally different perspective. Now, I’m not just looking at me and my friends, but how I can help other students and how I can grow the program. It’s a bigger picture. 

Q: What’s your favorite part about being a teacher?

A: Every day is different. It keeps me on my toes. My favorite part about being a film teacher is that I trick you guys into learning. You guys get to learn how to problem solve and work in groups, whether you like each other or not, and to get a completed project together at the end, which is a really important life skill. 

Q: When did you decide to come back?

A: I came back to Dreyfoos right away as an artist-in-residence for a year. Then, I left and I took a job in New York. I came back and I was working as an artist-in-residence again, and then I was working on film on the side. I was working for film festivals and freelancing. Then, I ended up back here again full time.

social studies teacher Sarah Ray, theatre major, Class of 2000

Back to Article
Back to Article

social studies teacher Sarah Ray, theatre major, Class of 2000

Sophia Roberts

Q: What has changed since you were a student?

A: Well, [the school] started [with grades] 7–12. In seventh grade, you were on campus with seniors and juniors that were really working on their craft. You saw art being made at a higher level, pushing you to make your art at the highest level. 

Q: Why did you come back? 

I knew these kids better than I knew other kids. It’s a great school to work at. I was able to identify better here because I know what you go through.  

Q: What was it like coming back to Dreyfoos as a teacher? 

A: Fun. Relaxing. It just felt like home, like I should be here.

About the Writer
Photo of Jade Lichtenstein
Jade Lichtenstein, Culture Writer

Communications sophomore Jade Lichtenstein is a first-year staffer on the culture section. In her free time she likes to snorkel, read, eat Ben and Jerry’s,...

Leave a Comment

Posting under a pseudonym is not permitted. Online comments that are found in violation of the editorial policy will be removed as quickly as possible.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




THE MUSE • Copyright 2019 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in