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Valley teacher finds joy in her work

VALLEY — Shannon Duffy loves being a teacher at Valley High School.

This high school physics and environmental science teacher has been with Valley for two years.

“I like doing labs with physics,” she said. “I like seeing the kids when they get it.”

Of the curriculum she teaches, Duffy said she enjoys the labs the best.

“I try my best to keep it more hands on,” she noted. “It takes longer to plan and clean up but when I can find the time to do that, I do.”

As an example, on Friday she had her students blow into a flask of water with a litmus solution in it to test the pH levels.

“It shows what happens with increased CO2 in the atmosphere,” she said, noting the color turned from purple to pink to show it becoming acidic.

“When I can do stuff like that, it becomes more fun,” she said.

The projects, she added, are the highlight of the work with the students being more involved when being hands-on.

Her desire to teach started while she was a high school student in south Florida. It was there that she got involved with the Urban Teacher Academy Program.

“They would partner us as a high school student with others to give us a taste of it,” she said.

After high school, Duffy was encouraged by her teachers to go into science, citing it as her “passion.”

Undergraduate, graduate and work experiences led her to working in environmental science.

Since moving, she has come to enjoy the Valley.

“I like it a lot,” she said. “It’s been fun learning the different slang. It’s been a new experience for me being in a new culture.”

As far as the future goes, Duffy said she is uncertain where she will end up. She still has family in Florida but until then she’ll remain a Valley resident.

“I think this is a super challenging job in ways I wasn’t expecting,” she noted. “Every year I’ve been here I’ve gotten more comfortable with different aspects of it and I’d
like to stay in the field
long enough to continue that. I like teaching science.”

No matter where she ends up, Duffy said she is proud of what she and the other teachers have done.

“The teachers who teach here and everywhere are here for them [the students],” she said.

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