Seven new teachers joined the faculty this past year, and (by current count) four veteran teachers will be leaving McNamara this year. Following are profiles of these individuals. Reporting by Rachel Harris ’13, Staff Writer; Elise Nagy ’12, Editor; Gabrielle Taylor ’13, Staff Writer | Photos by Luciana Rodrigues ’12, Editor-in-Chief, except where noted
Director Mission & Ministry, Campus Minister, Religious Studies Department
Mrs. Parks-Skerpon, who has taught here for eight years, is leaving us. She will continue to teach as the Coordinator of Youth Ministry for grades 6-12 at her home parish of St. Pius X Church in Bowie, MD. Although she will not be teaching in a classroom, she will still be educating children in a youth group setting.
“It’s very bittersweet to leave McNamara,” she said, “I feel that I’ve accomplished a lot during my time here and grown a lot personally. It has been an unexpected joy to minister here at McNamara. I will miss being a part of the McNamara family on a daily basis, but I’m sure I’ll be back pretty regularly for special events and such. However, I am also very excited for the next stage in my life as well.”
American Sign Language
As both an American Sign Language teacher and volleyball coach, Mrs. Peggy Worthington has dedicated her life to education for over forty years. She taught and coached volleyball at Gallaudet University for thirty years. After leaving Gallaudet, she taught at the University of Maryland for two years before coming to Bishop McNamara.
Ms. Worthington said that after leaving Gallaudent, she “was glad to have the opportunity to teach again.” During the eleven years she dedicated to McNamara, she recalls, “I love the kids here, I couldn’t have asked for a better place to teach.” Although Ms. Worthington speaks with pride about her many years of work as a teacher, her eyes light up and her smile widens as she speaks about her plans after retirement this year.
Ms. Worthington, a true free-spirit, will dedicate her time after retirement to completing her “bucket list.” While she has seen and experienced much of the world already, she looks forward to all of the new and exciting things her bucket list has in store for her. A few of the things on her list are: climbing Mount Fuji, going on an African safari (again), skydiving, and doing much volunteer work.
When she isn’t traveling the world, Ms. Worthington will look forward to spending time with her grandchildren who she says “are growing up way too fast.”
Photography, Theater Tech, IT and English Departments
Mr. John Shryock has been a familiar face around McNamara since 2004. Starting his teaching career here in 2007, Shryock taught a variety of classes including Technical Theater, Digital Photography 1, 2 and 3, Speech Communications, and Computer Applications. Shryock added a level two photography class and an AP photography course to the school’s curriculum. He is also the moderator of Tech Crew and Guitar Club and co-moderator of Media Club.
Shryock plans to move to Los Angeles to pursue full time photography. However he will always remember his “camaraderie with the tech crew,” he said with a smile while recapping his fondest memories at McNamara. Whether helping out with the plays or taking gorgeous student headshots, Shryock’s quirky smile and glasses will greatly be missed by the McNamara community.
Holy Cross Service Director, Religious Studies Department
Holy Cross Service Director Mr. Timothy Harden has been at Bishop McNamara for the past two years. For both of those years he was a sophomore religion teacher. Unknown to many, Mr. Harden used to be a fly fishing guide in Colorado and now has a fly-fishing business on the side. After graduating from Gonzaga High School, he attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado, where he majored in Peace and Justice Studies.
“It’s been refreshing to see such a positive atmosphere among the student body and a friendliness between students,” he said. Mr. Harden feels thankful and blessed to have been a part of our community, but is ready to move back to the West Coast to his family and friends. He said, “My wife and I really miss California, and there are good opportunities for us there.”
Dr. Van Der Waag, Religious Studies
Received his BA in Government and Theology, a Masters in Theological Studies and then a PhD in Systematic Theology. Has taught religion for 13 years in high school and college and teaches religion classes here at Bishop McNamara. He has traveled to over fifteen countries.
Ms. Paola Apolinares, French
Began her career at age 15, teaching English to children, and has a degree in computers. Also speaks Spanish and Japanese, and feels that working at McNamara was part of God’s plan for her.
Tonya Bubolz, Religious Studies
B.A. in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, and is very happy to be back teaching at McNamara. She had previously taught here from 2001-2006. She came back, feeling that God was directing her path in this direction.
Michael Fox-Boyd, Mathematics
Double-majored in Mathematics and Computer Science and came to McNamara after Queen Anne School closed down last year. He feels like this school is a good fit for him, saying there is a spirit about the students that makes it enjoyable to teach at McNamara.
Charmayne Clark, Science and Social Studies
Is an undergraduate in a double major of Biology and Political science with a professional degree as a Juris Doctor. She specializes in teaching both the sciences and social studies. When she decided to teach, Bishop McNamara was her first choice.
Tosin Ogunsile, Science
“Mr. Tee,” as students call him, was born in Nigeria and lived there until he was 19 years old. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from City University of New York – Brooklyn College. He describes his McNamara experience as “eye-opening, rewarding, challenging and exciting.” Mr. Tee loves classical and gospel music and has a good ear for rhythm. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis, golf, and basketball.
Ruth Long, Latin
Ms. Long teaches Latin 1& 2. She has a degree in counseling and has worked in education for 30 years. “The environment here for students, parents and faculty is supportive and stimulating, and family-like,” she said. Her son also attended McNamara as a student. “McNamara is totally AWESOME, in all capital letters,” she said.
As The Stampede finds out more, we will be sure to update readers over the summer or in the fall.