The Student News Site of Parkway Central High School

Inside Look: Why teachers chose their career path

Parkway Central High school is full of many great and educated teachers. They have led this school to be ranked number 19 in all of Missouri, with a graduation rate of 93% according to the U.S. News.

November 2, 2017

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Physical Education Teacher Terri O'Leary conferencing with a parent.

Physical Education Teacher Terri O'Leary conferencing with a parent. "I knew I liked physical activity and working with kids," O'Leary said.

Sydney Stahlschmidt

Sydney Stahlschmidt

Physical Education Teacher Terri O'Leary conferencing with a parent. "I knew I liked physical activity and working with kids," O'Leary said.

Parkway Central High school is full of many great and educated teachers. They have led this school to be ranked number 19 in all of Missouri, with a graduation rate of 93% according to the U.S. News.                                                                                         

Parkway Central’s head principal Tim McCarthy is currently in his 22 year of education with 7 of those years being at Central. He also had advanced his work by enlisting as assistant principal for 6 years at Parkway West High school and 9 years as a history teacher 4 years at Vianney High School and 5 also at Parkway West all before he came to this school.                                                                                                            

I decided to be a teacher my junior year in college.  For years, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer and  I was actually taking the LSAT,  when my desire to become a teacher crystallized,” said McCarthy. He got his bachelor’s degree in history at UMSL and also worked as a student teacher for a year. Yet, his motivation to become an administrator was a little different.                                       

“My motivation for pursuing that path was a strong desire to be of service to students, families and teachers at the building level and how schools should work,” said McCarthy.

Thomas Kazanecki,  a biology teacher here at Central, had pursued the idea of wanting to be in the field of teaching and science for almost his whole life. He knew that he wanted to be a teacher and work with students since 5th grade. And a few years down the road he found his love for biology.

“I had a wonder for biology, in 9th grade. I was already curious, and had a love and respect of nature, the more sciences I took the more I knew this would be home,” said Kazanecki.  After learning his fascination with the subject, he went to three different colleges to get his education. He attended Ancilla College a small Catholic school in Donaldson Indiana for two years, Ball State University for two years, and Indiana University at South Bend for one year.  Ever since he became a teacher he has loved it and has continued to further his education on the topic. In terms of how long Kazanecki  has been in the field of teaching he simply stated,

“For a very long time.”

One of our PE teachers at Central, Terri O’Leary , has had a love for sports for a very long time.  Before deciding to be a Physical Education teacher, she had been a dance instructor for 14 years.  But at the age of 24 she realized that while she enjoyed teaching these kids there were other things more important in her life at the time.

I had kids myself what I realized was that I would be working in the evenings when they were home from school so I went back to college and got my degree in physical education,” O’Leary said.  Just like McCarthy she also attended UMSL. She  got her undergrad and since then has gotten two masters degrees.

She has been a teacher for around 21 years now, 18 of those at Central as a PE teacher but for three years before to start off her career she was a PE teacher at Parkway South Middle School.

Last, we have assistant principal Sarah Power. Ever since she was 16-years-old she knew she desired to be a principal. It was when Power became class president of her high school and got to shadow her principal,  when she found out she wanted to be in a leading position in education.

 “I like the fact that I was going to be working with students, parents teachers, and that I would have a lot of things I would be able to do,” Power said. But to become the position she wanted she would have to become a teacher first.

 She attended Mizzou to get her teaching degree in History. After getting her degree she became an assistant athletic director at Lafayette High School for two years, where she also got her masters degree at Lindenwood College and her doctorate at Mizzou. Finally she came to Parkway Central as assistant principal at the age of 26 and is currently in her 16th year of education, 12 being here at Central.

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