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New physics teacher’s diverse hobbies set her apart

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Holley passes back test papers to her physics C class. Holley also teaches Pre-AP and AP II.

Holley passes back test papers to her physics C class. Holley also teaches Pre-AP and AP II.

Shreya Rao

Shreya Rao

Holley passes back test papers to her physics C class. Holley also teaches Pre-AP and AP II.

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For most people, it is hard to maintain just one aspect of their life, whether it be school or work. But for physics teacher Dr. Kerry Holley, that struggle does not exist. As a licensed pyrotechnician, a classically trained flutist, and a storm spotter, Holley is quite literally taking the world by storm.

Holley is one of several new teachers to join the school this year. Taking over former physics teacher Louis Dagenais’ position, Holley will be teaching Pre-AP, AP II, and AP C physics.

“[Physics] is fun; you can act it out,” Holley said. “Physics governs everything we do. My dad always said that it would be the most practical science I could ever take because you can apply it to everyday life all the time.”

Holley worked at Lamar High School in Arlington until chemistry teachers Gale Hunt and Kerry Boyd convinced her to switch schools. Holley met Hunt and Boyd through faculty meetings they had been going to for years.

“I’ve taught chemistry as long as I’ve taught physics,” Holley said. “So this is the first year in many years that I have not had at least one chemistry course to teach.”

Physics teacher Bernard Jenkins believes Holley’s extensive experience will prove to be advantageous to the students as well as making the idea of taking a calculus-based physics class more appealing.

“She’s very friendly, very outgoing,” Jenkins said. “From what I hear from some of the students, they really like her personality. She has a wealth of knowledge about science. She’s going to be a huge asset to Hebron.”

Students like senior Amna Yasin, who plan on studying engineering in college, are the first batch of students to learn from Holley. Yasin said Holley’s dedication to her extracurricular activities is motivating.

“Not only is Dr. Holley extremely intelligent, but she makes time to do other things outside of work and academics,” Yasin said. “She is a well-rounded individual who takes the knowledge she has and spreads it to the outside world. Normally, people would keep to themselves by just sitting at home and not doing anything productive with the knowledge they have. But she plays in a band, knows how to light fireworks and is a storm spotter.”

While many see Holley as a physics teacher, she considers herself more than that. Holley claims to be the first musician and scientist from her family. Currently, she plays for the Fort Worth Civic orchestra, Flutissimo, and Flutes Unlimited. Her skill set ranges from the flute, piccolo, alto flute, bass flute and alto saxophone.

“I just do lots of different things,” Holley said. “I’ve been a musician for 49 years. I have played professionally since I got into college which was more than 40 years ago. I’ve always played in a group, so I kind of crossover between both [Flutissimo and Flutes Unlimited].”

Along with her musical hobby, Holley became inspired to become a licensed pyrotechnician through firework demonstrations she did for her classes. She has been a licensed pyrotechnician for the last 14 to 15 years, as well as a storm spotter with her husband. With the insurance and permits that have to be arranged and purchased, these interests are not easy to maintain.

“I consider them all to be hobbies,” Holley said. “I started playing flute in sixth grade. The firework stuff came out of the demonstrations I was doing [for class]. I started doing the weather stuff because it was interesting. If I don’t have something new to learn I get bored.”

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