GLASGOW — They might not know it yet, but the students walking the halls of Christ the Teacher Catholic School might end up back in the building a few years after graduation as faculty or staff members. There are several role models who are currently in that position.
Five graduates of Christ the Teacher are on the staff this year. They are 2011 alumni Andrew Gallagher and Nick Mahler, the facilities director and facilities assistant, respectively; Sean Beeson, Class of 2012, a sixth- and seventh-grade teacher; and Gillian Connor (2009), a prekindergarten 3 aide, and Emma Johnson (2012), an aide in first grade.
“I never thought I’d be back here again,” Mahler said recently at the school, which is open for hybrid education.
Like the others, however, circumstances brought him back to his old school, where he works closely with his classmate, Gallagher. In addition to making sure the lights stay on and the heat works, the pair stepped in earlier this year to take the place of parents who were not allowed in for lunch duty. It was an eye-opening experience.
“We were with the first-graders. It was kind of interesting working with kids. I’ve never worked with kids before. It was interesting being on the other end,” Mahler said.
Connor is in her third year at the school. She has enjoyed her experience. “One of my years I was in the new building, so that was nice. They have two classrooms in the building.”
Both Beeson and Johnson are in their first years at the school.
Johnson majored in theater in college, but the pandemic has done a number on that industry. She had the opportunity to work at her alma mater, where her father, Rick, is the drama and music teacher.
“I always carpooled with my dad. I’m now carpooling with him again. It’s very strange,” she said.
She’s happy to be at the school. “It was not my intention to work here originally. I’m really glad I do. I like my job a lot. But I graduated in May with a degree in theater, and theater is pretty much done right now, all shut down. It was already going to be a hard field to get into, and that just wasn’t an option, so I really wanted to figure out how I could still kind of use my theater degree. I think it does kind of fit well with education.”
Connor left a desk job to get into education, a choice she doesn’t regret. She enjoys the chance to work with other people and to be able to move around. “I like it. I had a job at a healthcare company when I graduated from college. But I didn’t like sitting at a desk. It wasn’t for me.”
One of the stranger things the alumni had to adjust to was calling members of the faculty by their first names. Gallagher has been working there the longest — he’s in his sixth year — and he said many of the faculty and staff members from his time at Christ the Teacher are no longer there, which makes it a bit easier to get used to.
“It takes a while to get used to more of the adult side and coworker side instead of looking up to them as a teacher. It’s definitely odd, but after a year or two it gets more normal,” he said.