Before They Were Teachers

You know your teachers as… your teachers. They come to school, educate you, and that’s it. You have good relationships with some and not so good relationships with others. But one thing you might not have realized is that some teachers had entirely different jobs before they became your teacher.

Mrs. Burke

Mrs. Burke teaches many different classes at Verona High School including Introduction to Financial Literacy, Honors Accounting,AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, Introduction to Digital Design, Digital Design I and II, and Digital Photography. Some would say she does it all.

Before she did all of this, she worked at many different hotels in hospitality.

At this hotel, she had many leadership positions in Management Information Systems and Property Operations.

“I was responsible for departmental budgets and did support the accounting staff with the processes and systems that they used.”

This background in business then transferred into teaching students these tools that will help them be prepared for the business world.

Mrs. Francis

Mrs. Francis, VHS’s school nurse, is who most students go to whenever they are having a problem. In only her third year at Verona High School she has made a big impact on students’ lives, but what many people don’t know is that she actually helped people as an oncology nurse for 25 years.

Graduating from Wayne Paterson with a BSN in nursing, Mrs. Francis went on to work in many hospitals such as Saint Barnabas and Hackensack Hospital.

“I helped patients who had cancer and gave them chemo” she said while smiling with a rightful sense of pride.

Mr. Scott

We all know Mr. Scott as a tenth grade chemistry teacher, but you might be surprised to learn that he was actually a synthetic organic medicinal chemist for twelve years before becoming a teacher.

When he was a chemist, he worked on “inventing treatments for diseases including cancer and type 2 diabetes.”

Mr. Scott became an inventor and author on fourteen different patents and helped to create computer models that would help to work with compounds on computers.

He says that there is something exciting about working with compounds and realizing, “”this compound has never existed in the history of the world, and I not only made it, but I planned it and made it with the purpose of making people’s lives better.”

With this background in chemistry, he decided to share his wealth of knowledge with students and venture into the field of education.

Mr. Cashill

Mr. Cashill is an Algebra I and AP Statistics teacher who has been teaching for 15 years. Although he is a veteran compared to some, he admits he “still feels like a newbie”.

This “newbie” feeling could come from his previous career of working for Exxon.

Mr. Cashill graduated from Virginia Tech and started this career at Exxon shortly after, working there for 34 years.

This career took him to live in New Jersey, New York, and even Saudi Arabia.

       After taking an early retirement he decided to go into the teaching world,working for Plainfield High School in Plainfield, New Jersey, and then Verona High School shortly after.

But when talking about his dream job he says, “If I could I would love to sing and dance and act in a Broadway show!

Mrs. Pico

Before Mrs. Pico became a math teacher, she worked as a bank teller all through high school and college, and at a customer service office at a department store. She worked with money and made sure everything was balanced.

Mrs. Pico has been wanted to be a teacher since she was a child, saying that she would “make up worksheets for her parents and grandparents to do” to pretend she was a teacher. She “loved math” and knew that was what she wanted to do.

Mr. Maher

Mr. Maher worked for two years for a company that owned department stores throughout the United States to save up money for graduate school. He then worked for UPS at night while getting all of this teaching certification courses in during the day. He would get home at 4 a.m. and get up at 8 a.m. to go to more classes.

Mr. Maher always wanted to teach history so that he could “to do something to better society” and really try to make a difference in young people’s lives.