Kindergarten and First Grade

Meghan O'Leary

Teacher Profile:
I grew up in Higganum, CT before enrolling at the University of New Hampshire where I studied English literature.  I then went on to obtain my master’s degree in elementary education.  I spent an internship year teaching in a first grade classroom while researching literacy instruction at the primary level.  After moving to Kittery in 2013, I began working as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at a nature preschool program called Eyes of the World Discovery Center which adopted the Waldorf and Montessori philosophies to create full and comforting academic and social experiences for preschool students.  For a few years, I was a teacher’s assistant in the Pre-K and second grade classrooms at Shore Country Day School in Beverly, MA.  I am excited for my second year here at Berwick. During my free time, I enjoy exploring the outdoor environments of New Hampshire and Maine. I love finding walking trails with my dog, eating at local restaurants and gardening in my backyard. I am so fortunate to live and teach on the seacoast!

Why do you love teaching your specific age?
I love everything about early childhood education! In Kindergarten, students are so excited to learn, play and explore. The spirit of a Kindergartener is contagious.  I enjoy watching how much my students grow over the course of the school year. They become readers, writers and caring members of our school community.

What defines a great teacher?
A great teacher is someone who is thoughtful, creative, passionate, observant, a good listener and dedicated to learning what makes each one of their students special!

What is your favorite lesson to teach?
I have really enjoyed teaching science and experiencing the outdoors with my students. Nature education is very important and we have so many resources right at our fingertips! I also love our Morning Meeting times. It is a special moment during our day when each student’s voice is heard and appreciated.

What is your classroom motto?
“Practice makes progress!”
What is your favorite thing about teaching in the Berwick Lower School?
I love Berwick Academy’s Lowers School for so many reasons! It is a unique place where I feel like I can grow as an educator and learner. My colleagues motivate me to think outside of the box and foster a safe place for me to share my ideas. The students and their families are kind and fun. The Lower School is a very special community. It is my home away from home!

Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.  Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.