Ashley Sterpka welcomed to WA

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Ashley Sterpka welcomed to WA

Mehul Shrivastava, News Editor

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After moving around all her life, Ashley Sterpka is ready to start her first full year of teaching biology and chemistry at Westford Academy.

Although she has lived in many different places, Sterpka is mainly from western Massachusetts. She is originally from Rhode Island, where she lived until she completed her freshman year at Bay View High School. When her family moved to their farm in western Massachusetts, she spent her next two years of high school at Greenfield, MA. Finally, she completed her senior year in Hatfield after her school in Greenfield closed.

When she graduated, Sterpka took a rigorous course on massage therapy at Greenfield Community College. After becoming a massage therapist, Sterpka then went on to get her degree at University of Alabama for a year, then UMASS Amherst for another, and finally finished at Syracuse University in New York. She also worked in a neuroscience lab while she was in Syracuse, and her combined experience in the lab and as a massage therapist made anatomy her strong point.

After getting her degree, Sterpka was a student teacher at Four Rivers in Greenfield for half a year, and for the other half, she was teaching biology and chemistry at West Springfield High School.

Sterpka has always loved science and the exploration involved in it. She particularly enjoys doing hands-on activities with her students,

“What I love about science is that when people dork out about it, when people get goofy about it, you actually learn things […] it has a really profound affect, I believe, on your ability to learn other things,” said Sterpka.

Sterpka considers herself to still be in her first year of teaching. With that in mind, she gained a lot of experience as she had many different placements as a teacher while she was completing her degree in Syracuse, and after she got her degree, was a student teacher and a teacher for a year.

Sterpka had always known that teaching was for her, since she ended up being a tutor for her peers quite often during high school and college.

“It brings a really good feeling when I can bring somebody to that feeling of understanding,” said Sterpka.

Although she is still getting used to the building, Sterpka is enjoying her experience at WA so far. She loves the community for being very accepting, and likes how the students really listen and engage into material in class.

“I’m having a really good time and I’m loving every minute of it,” said Sterpka.