At the close of the 2018-2019 school year, Carol McKenna’s 32-year career as a teacher at Boothbay Region High School came to an end. Throughout her career, McKenna covered a variety of subjects including English, World Cultures, U.S. History, French and, her favorite subject to teach, Latin.
McKenna knew from a young age she wanted to be a teacher. As a child, she played teacher with her stuffed animals and dolls.
She loved being able to make a connection with her students. The best moments were her students’ “aha moments.”
McKenna watched many students grow and create lives in and out of the community. In her later years, she even enjoyed joking with the students about their parents she had taught years before. Throughout the years, McKenna had to deal with tedious administrative procedures and adapt as new technology was being integrated throughout the school. Through all the changes, McKenna found ways to continue to make impressions on her students. She believed that teachers affect every student to varying degrees. When asked about her favorite parts of teaching, she said it was breaking through to a student who didn't want to be there.
Now retired, McKenna is looking forward to being able to read whenever she wants. She also plans to spend time with her grandchildren and to always be looking for new opportunities. Reflecting on her experiences, she hopes for students to find out she wasn't as bad as they thought, and for them to find value in the knowledge she taught them.
McKenna's advice to future teachers would be to always expect change, listen to peers, and persevere because there should be value in teaching the youth of tomorrow.