Former student returns as St. John's teacher in Plum
Third grade was Megan Derry's favorite year as a student.
Derry, 22, of Plum, spent her elementary years at St. John the Baptist School.
Now, she has returned to her alma mater — this time as a third-grade teacher. Classes start Aug. 21.
“I am excited to be a part of the staff,” Derry said earlier this month as she arranged desks and books in her classroom at St. John, in Plum. “Everyone is so wonderful.”
Derry replaces St. John teacher Anne Jacobus, who retired.
Derry is a 2010 graduate of Plum High School. She graduated in May from Slippery Rock University with a bachelor's degree in early-childhood education.
In addition to having fond memories of her third-grade year of school, Derry taught third grade in the Butler Area School District during as her student-teaching assignment.
St. John Principal Theresa Szmed, who was Derry's science teacher when Derry attended the Catholic school, said of the dozen or so resumes she received for the job, Derry stood out.
“I know her character,” Szmed said. “She has very effective strategies working with little children that you don't (typically) see in new teachers.”
Szmed said Derry is skilled in both the use of activities involving interactive touch-sensitive whiteboards — as well as in differentiated instruction — tailoring teaching to meet individual students' needs.
“Using technology was how I was taught to teach,” Derry said.
Derry said her desire to become a teacher evolved in part from her positive experience working with preschoolers in the family-and-consumer-science program at Plum High School.
She became more interested in teaching as a profession after returning to St. John to observe some classes during her freshman year at the Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus in Monroeville.
Derry also kept in touch with the faculty at St. John as her younger siblings attended the school.
Still, returning to St. John as a teacher is a different experience.
“When I walked in the door (after being hired), I thought, ‘Is this happening?'” Derry said.
“She is still calling everyone (teachers) by Miss or Mrs.,” Szmed said with a chuckle.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-871-2367 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Incoming Plum directors oppose new Regency Park school
- Girl Scout Cadettes’ shed project aids seniordog rescue in Plum
- Plum EMS promotes 2 after deputy director’s retirement
- Remodeling unresolved at Plum school bus facility; lateness, stop issues tackled
- Taxes steady, some spending up in Plum’s preliminary budget
- Plum Council approves site plan for new Regency Park Elementary
- Plum School Board orders non-employee district email addresses
- ‘Project Safe Search’ presented at St. John the Baptist in Plum