Science teacher Kelly O’Brien poses in her science classroom. O’Brien teaches Anatomy and Physiology, AP Biology and sponsors The Heart Club.
Science teacher Kelly O’Brien poses in her science classroom. O’Brien teaches Anatomy and Physiology, AP Biology and sponsors The Heart Club.
Peyton Kuschmeider

Hawks Uncovered: Science teacher Kelly O’Brien

Her dad was a nature lover. 

Growing up in a rural area, they would take walks in the woods together to look at plants and animals. 

After living a nature-filled life for so long, science teacher Kelly O’Brien fell in love with biology and the world around her.

As a kid, O’Brien always thought she would be a veterinarian. She loved animals; however, she couldn’t handle the thought of putting someone’s pet down. She couldn’t handle the possibility of not being able to help someone.

During her freshman year of high school, O’Brien had a teacher who opened her eyes to a new dream through four simple words.

“Come help this student.”

O’Brien became a tutor to that student; she was able to help someone and fell in love with the feeling. From that moment on, she knew she wanted to become a teacher.

After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class, O’Brien attended Texas Christian University and majored in biology. When she told people that she wanted to become a teacher, she said people looked at her as if she was wasting her talents. 

But O’Brien knew it wasn’t a waste. She knew her passion was to help people. She had the brains to be a doctor, but her desire to help students was greater than her own academic abilities. For the same reasons she didn’t want to be a veterinarian — the possibility of not being able to help — she knew being a doctor was not the right path. 

She loves helping students learn. She looks at it like a creative process — a puzzle. Trying to figure out the right way to help someone understand something. She loves finding new ways to teach new things, especially with hands-on activities. 

Teaching can be a time-consuming, intense job, especially to O’Brien who said she goes above and beyond to give new assignments and find creative and exciting ways to teach. In the end, she knows it is more rewarding than anything to be able to help students and the future generations.

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