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Leaving the Nest

Calculus teacher looks back at 12 years at Hebron

O%27Brien+prepares+his+students+for+the+upcoming+AP+Calculus+test.
O'Brien prepares his students for the upcoming AP Calculus test.

O'Brien prepares his students for the upcoming AP Calculus test.

O'Brien prepares his students for the upcoming AP Calculus test.

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Coming to school at 7:45 am every morning, seeing the same principals and teachers in the hallways , and opening the same classroom of 2525 for the past 12 years is how Calculus teacher Alex O’Brien spends his morning. But with recent changes to his personal life, O’Brien’s morning routine at Hebron is coming to an end.

O’Brien will be leaving the school at the end of the 2016 – 2017 school year. After teaching for 12 years, he will be moving to Prosper with his wife and kids.

“We built a house in Prosper in 2015 and we have a second kid on the way due in July,” O’Brien said. “With that second kid coming on the way and living farther away from Hebron, I want to work in the community we live in. I want to be in the school that my kids would eventually be in. I’ll miss Hebron, but it’s just the best decision for the family.”

Fresh out of college and graduating with mathematics and business administration, O’Brien received his first job from Hebron in 2005. Since then, he’s been teaching AP Calculus AB/BC, the PSAT and SAT class, as well as becoming the mathematics department chair.

“In college, I was looking for a job and my mother was in education, being in theater and a counselor,” O’Brien said. “So I’ve been around education for a while, but I applied for corporate jobs and for fun, some teaching jobs. This was the first job I got and so I accepted it. I kept with it and ended up falling in love with teaching. A happy coincidence.”

Working at Hebron for 12 years has led O’Brien to meet new teachers and staff that have inspired him to be a better teacher including Pre-AP Pre-Calculus teacher, Catherine Meldrum.

“I’ve known Mr. O’Brien for about 12 years,” Meldrum said. “He’s worked so hard in being department chair, and we always praise him and are grateful for what’s he’s done. I’ll miss his humor and his company whenever he arranges his potluck lunches. I wish him the absolute best at his new school and for his family.”

Teachers as well as his students say they will miss O’Brien for his personality and humor.

“Mr. O’Brien leaving means that future Calculus BC students are missing out on a great teacher,” junior Alan Jacob said. “I’m going to miss him and his math jokes.He was a great teacher and could tell that he had passion, a quality that very few teachers can honestly say they have.”

Although he’s going to miss Hebron, O’Brien hopes to expand and grow the math department at Prosper High School and continue teaching Calculus BC.

“I’ve enjoyed working at Hebron and have seen a lot of changes the past 12 years; some good, some not as good,” O’Brien said. “It’s been a really good and positive experience. I’ve had some good mentor type teachers here when I was younger that have helped me developed into a great teacher. Overall, Hebron’s been an amazing time in my life and I will miss it.”

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Leaving the Nest