Jamie SarokaToday we hear from Jamie Saroka, a high school teacher in New York who is just finishing up our online CH 584 course for STEM instructors. Thank you, Jamie, for sharing your story with us!

I was born in Ithaca, NY in 1959. The family moved to Harpursville, NY in 1968 and I graduated high school in 1977. I went to Cornell and received my BS in Animal Science in 1981 and my MS in Nutrition Biochemistry in 1984. I worked as a Research Support Specialist in a nutrition lab at Cornell until 1989 when I took a research position with ISA Babcock, an international breeding company in the poultry layer business. I spent the next 15 years in genetics, after which the company moved to Canada. I went back to school, took all the education classes I needed, and became a teacher in 2004. I have been teaching Chemistry ever since to sophomores and juniors, with an occasional senior thrown in. I did teach AP Biology for two years (as well as my normal Chemistry classes), until a full time biology teacher replaced me.

I was the oldest grandchild and one of my grandfathers was a professor at Cornell. It was pretty much a no brainer where I was going; however, all my siblings went to Penn State. I really enjoyed science in high school and did very well in all subjects. Between a positive high school science experience, a grandfather who was a professor in biochemistry, and my love of the outdoors—Boy Scouts, hiking, fishing, etc.—I went into the science field. I entered teaching as a third profession, bringing a plethora of experience in academia and industry to my high school classroom.

What motivated me to pursue CH 584 was receiving a letter, from the OSU Department of Chemistry, informing me that the class existed. We do receive payroll advancements for earning so many graduate credits. I have taken classes before, but a Chemistry class focusing on different laboratory learning techniques intrigued me. I like the format of the class and have enjoyed what we have done so far. I am always looking for new ways to stimulate my students and make science fun for them. I am hoping that I can pick up something from CH 584 that I can use in my class and pass on to my students.

As for hobbies, I mentioned that I am involved with the Boy Scouts. I like working with youth, and teaching is not confined to the classroom. I am currently an Assistant Scoutmaster and work more with adults at the Council level. When I was Scoutmaster, I had 8 boys attain the rank of Eagle, which I am very proud of. I enjoy exercising and running, although my running has waned the last few years. I have run 2 marathons, New York and Scranton. I enjoy playing golf, but I rarely find time to do that. My biggest hobby now is my 10 month old granddaughter Eliana.

(The picture was taken in the summer of 2015 when I was hiking with the Boy Scouts at Philmont Scout Reservation in New Mexico.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a reply

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>