by Marrich Somridhivej ’22
After her first year at KO, Middle School science teacher Amanda Pasko will be departing KO this summer. Even though she has only been at KO for one year, she was worn many hats as a teacher, advisor, and coach. As her first job, KO has provided her great opportunities. She will be heading to Boston in order to pursue her passion for science.
In the fall, Ms. Pasko will be studying at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston in order to pursue her passion for science. She is planning to receive her masters in public health with a concentration in nutrition and epidemiology.
Prior to coming to KO, Ms. Pasko majored in kinesiology and sports medicine at Rice University in Houston, Texas. In addition, she took education classes in college, which sparked her interest in teaching. She also was a track and field athlete in college.
At KO, she took on many roles, despite it being her first year out of college. Ms. Pasko taught introduction to physical science, and Upper Prep technology. She also served as an advisor to Middle School students and coached Middle School soccer, basketball, and track and field teams, as well as the Upper School track and field team.
When Ms. Pasko first visited KO, she knew that KO would provide a great experience for her, as it allowed her to do many things that she was passionate about. “I had been a professor’s assistant in college. I had tutored a lot,” she said, “I had coached middle and high school aged athletes, so I looked for opportunities where I could combine my interests in teaching and in science.” Ms Pasko added that she’s enjoyed her time at KO. “It’s been a really positive experience,” she said.
Ms. Pasko said that KO allowed her to go outside her comfort zone to try new things. “I have done track a lot but I haven’t played soccer or basketball in a long time, so I coached things that I was less familiar with,” she said. “I majored in science but I haven’t done as much technology stuff but I still taught an intro class in that. I think some of it is a balance of what you are familiar with and some of it not as much.”
During her time at KO, Ms. Pasko said that she learned a lot about teaching. “I learned how to teach and engage students without just telling them how to do something and how to work with a lot of different thinking styles all at once,” she said. “A lot of times if you are working one-on-one with someone, you can focus on what helps that person, but if you have a lot of people who think and learn differently together, how can you help them all at once?”
Ms. Pasko’s favorite thing about KO is the variety of activities she does everyday. “Between teaching different courses, advising students, and coaching sports, you do a lot of different things each day and you work with a lot of different people, so there is a balance of everything each day.”
Even though she was only at KO for one school year, leaving KO was a bittersweet decision for her. Ms. Pasko said that she will miss her students the most. “I will miss seeing some of the same students I worked with this year next year,” she said. “I think it would be neat having known them from another whole year, to see them a year from now to see how they would be like a year from now and how they have changed.”
The KO community certainly wishes Ms. Pasko the best on her journey to Boston and in her future endeavors.