We have so many spectacular and talented staff members here at Winthrop High School; ranging from history to physics you can find so many dedicated and talented educators. Unfortunately, this means that whenever one of these teachers has to leave, it’s a very hard goodbye. Miss Meghan Dooley is an example of one of these staff members. Miss Dooley teaches Marine Science, Honors Biology, and CP Biology at Winthrop High. I had her freshman year and she was an incredible, engaging teacher. Recently she acquired a new job, and I, as with many others, are very excited for her. We wanted to catch up with her about her years at Winthrop High and what she plans to do in the future at her new job and with life!
I first asked Miss Dooley questions about her school and teacher life:
Zoe: Where did you go to college and what did you study?
Miss Dooley: I’ve been to a couple of different colleges. For my undergraduate, I went to Emmanuel and got my degree in biology and secondary education. Then, I got a masters degree from Salem State. And right now, I am currently in a second masters program through Clemson University, an online course, for a masters in science and biology.
Zoe: When and how did you start working at Winthrop High School?
Miss Dooley: I’ve been working here for seven years now. I started my teaching career in Lawrence and taught there for a couple of years. Then I moved to Boston, wanted a shorter commute, started applying to places around Boston, met with Mr. Crombie and Mr. Capasso, and the rest is history.
Zoe: What did you love and are going to miss the most about working at Winthrop High School?
Miss Dooley: One hundred percent the thing I am going to miss the most is the staff and the students. Compared to other places I have worked, the staff here is just different. I have made a lot of friends and a lot of connections. Same thing with students as well, it is different than anywhere else I’ve worked to see you guys from year to year and be able to have almost every person in the school at one point. I’m going to miss the people the most, hands down.
Zoe: Did you have a favorite year, class or event during your time here?
Miss Dooley: I don’t think that I have had a favorite year per say; I feel like every year has its fun little quirks. I have liked the pep rallies, holidays shows, and things like that. The fun part for me, since I have almost the entire freshman class usually every year, is that it is cool to see where you guys end by your junior and senior year. Seeing you guys act, or sing, or play sports, and grow from your freshman year is the coolest and more interesting part for me.
Zoe: Did you have a favorite coworker?
Miss Dooley: I don’t even think I can pick one because I feel like I have so many coworkers here that are awesome. I started working here with a whole big group. Mr. Davis and I came in together, and same with Dr. Dunn. So it’s been interesting to be with them, especially Mr. Davis because we work so closely together, and to see how we have changed as the years have gone on. But overall I don’t think I could pick out one particular coworker, it would be way too tough.
Zoe: What are you looking forward to at your new job?
Miss Dooley: I think the thing that I am looking forward to are the challenges that it is going to present. I have never done anything but teach, I’ve been teaching for ten years now, so it’s going to be a completely different ball game. I’m going to be working with people who have created industry standards for different biology techniques that I learned about in school. It’s exciting but also intimidating at the same time to know how much school they’ve gone through, how much they have been able to figure out in the workforce. I think there is going to be a lot of room for me to grow as a scientist through all of the challenges.
Zoe: What will you be doing at your new job?
Miss Dooley: It’s a new company that is really just getting off of the ground, so it is starting pretty small. On my team, it is me, three other people, and the scientist we report to. The premise of what they want to do is to start getting medications for things like cancer treatments, genetic diseases, or anything else you can’t necessarily just give a pill for. It is essentially working with gene therapy, and making it so that if someone has some sort of chromosomal defect there is a treatment that can give their body the information to build or fix something that the body couldn’t do by itself. That is honestly the best explanation I can give right now, because this is something that is definitely going to be a huge learning curve for me. I know all of this stuff in theory, but putting it in practice is going to look very different.
Zoe: Do you think you’ll ever return to teaching?
Miss Dooley: I do think I’ll eventually come back. I don’t know when that will be but one of the exciting things of leaving is that I am going to have a whole different skill set to be able to bring back into the classroom. I can talk more about biotechnology, maybe be able to do different labs that I wouldn’t be able to do because I didn’t have that skill set before.
Next I asked Miss Dooley questions about her more personal, at home life:
Zoe: With this new job, have you had to move or find a different way to commute?
Miss Dooley: It is going to be a little bit farther of a commute, but the benefit is that I am going to partially be working from home. So some days it’ll be a much faster commute, and other days it will be a longer commute, but not so far that I’ve had to move.
Zoe: Do you have any specific hobbies or interests that people might not know about?
Miss Dooley: I really love true crime podcasts, that is one of my favorites. Also, I grew up figure skating, so I love to go to free skates, open skates, stuff like that when I have some time available.
Zoe: This is a large positive development in your work life, have there been any positive or interesting developments in your own, more personal life that you would want to share?
Miss Dooley: I got engaged this year, so I would say that’s a pretty big, exciting, personal life thing. We also bought a vacation home up in New Hampshire. So I’ve had a couple of things kind of happen all at once, which has been wild.
Zoe: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself? Any fun facts or opinions?
Miss Dooley: I guess the last thing I would like to share is just a thank you to the students and faculty for making this such a great place to work. It was a really tough decision, when I was trying to figure out if I wanted to leave. It was something that I really grappled with for a couple of days. It was such a hard choice because I know I am going to miss the community so much. It has really started to hit me over the last day and a half of how different life is going to be, come Monday, when I’m not driving into Winthrop. That’s probably my biggest thing, is just a thank you, because this has kind of been my second home for the last seven years and I really appreciated everybody.
We hope you enjoyed this spotlight on Meghan Dooley! If you see her in the halls today, make sure you wish her well at her new job. Thank you Miss Dooley for everything and thank you guys for reading!