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The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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Long-time history teacher moves on to a new beginning

Ari O’Brien
History Teacher Erika Connolly proudly stands in front of a 2015 poster made by Alumna Lauren Adam in Room 139.

History teacher Erika Connolly, will retire at the end of the 2023-2024 school year. After teaching since 1993, she is ready for a new start. 

“Ever since I was little, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” said Connolly. “When I was young, I had my mom paint my room a chalkboard green, and then I would pretend to teach there.” 

Originally, Connolly wanted to be an elementary school teacher, but her professor, Dr. Logan from Virginia Wesleyan University, made her realize she wanted to be a high school teacher instead. 

Connolly has been awarded the Daughter of the American Revolution Award, Distinguished Teacher Award and The Great Dreams and The Great Teachers Award.  

“My favorite award was The Great Dreams and The Great Teachers Award because it was nominated to me by a student which makes it extra special,” said Connolly. 

Connolly has impacted many students throughout her years in teaching. For example, juniors Ray Affonso and Juliana Morris, who are both in her AP U.S. History class. 

“She is genuinely one of the best teachers I have ever had. The way she teaches makes history so easy and entertaining while her classroom is filled with positivity and humor,” said Ray. 

According to Connolly, she has enjoyed teaching for the past 30 years and is going to miss it. Most of all, she is going to miss seeing the kids get excited about learning something they didn’t know and helping them grow as students. 

“I have learned a lot from Mrs. Connolly this year, she is very engaging with the class and helps make learning fun,” said Juliana. 

After retiring, Connolly plans on working from home and organizing for a defense company contract. 

“Organizing is what I did best to help me be the best teacher I could be, and now I am going to continue that into my new job,” said Connolly. 

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About the Contributor
Ari O’Brien, Staff Writer
Ari O'Brien is a junior and a second-year journalism student. Outside of school, she enjoys doing competitive gymnastics, traveling, watching the sunset and spending time with family and friends.

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