Hoffman takes up science position at WA


Keertana Gangireddy and Srinithi Raj

Introducing Jennifer Hoffman, a biology and forensic science teacher who has recently joined WA’s science department.

Q: Have you always wanted to become a teacher?

A: I wanted to be a vet originally. In college I was a teaching assistant in a biology lab at my college, and I also taught horseback lessons, and I loved it, so much more than doing lab work and research so it was just an easy change for me to kinda switch gears.

Q: How long have you been teaching?

A: This is my ninth year teaching.

Q: What is your definition of a good teacher?

A: I think a good teacher is a teacher that really cares about their students deep down. It’s not just a job for them; they really love what they do and love working and helping students not only grow intellectually but also emotionally. Emotional support is important as well. And socially.

Q: Have you always in been into science, or did you have other interests?

A: No, I’ve always been really into science. It started in high school, I had a great biology teacher and I was a horseback rider so I wanted to do something with horses and science so I went on to study veterinary medicine and from there, my love and passion for biology grew.

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: I went to Otterbein University for my undergraduate degree and I studied equine pre-veterinary medicine and biology.

Q: Where did you teach before Westford Academy?

A: I taught in Hudson High School in Massachusetts

Q: Why did you choose to teach at WA?

A: I wanted to be close enough to home so that I could get more involved with the school community; when I was working in Hudson I had about a forty-minute commute. It was hard for me to get involved as an advisor or even just come to sporting events. So I really wanted to be closer to home so I could be part of the school community. So besides that, Westford has always been a really highly-ranked school and very well-known as a great district so it was a really easy decision for me.

Q: Are there any differences between Hudson High School and Westford Academy?

A. The size. Westford Academy is double the size. So that’s a big difference. The amount of science electives and the interest in science is much higher here, which is nice. The students here a so polite, every single one of them says “thank you” when I’m leaving. It just seems like a really great community.

Q: How is your experience at WA so far?

A: It’s been great. Everyone’s been so welcoming, the staff is so friendly and eager to help. All of the students are great as well.

Q: How have you grown as a teacher?

A: Oh, so many ways. So I’ve become more confident in my teaching. I’ve become more creative in the activities that I create and use in my classroom.

Q: Are you involved in advising any clubs? Are there any clubs that coincide with your interests?

A: Yes, I’m co-advising the women in STEM club. It’s actually called “24%”. So I’m really excited to be involved with that.

Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of school?

A: I used to horseback ride. Well, now that I have kids it’s hard to find the time, but we like hiking, and we like to check out new areas to hike with the kids. Not necessarily big mountains, since they’re still young, but conservation areas.

Q: Lastly, how do you balance teaching and home with homework to grade and everything?

A: I have two kids, I have a two-year old and a four-year old. So after school, I have to go home and switch gears into “mom-mode”, but once they go to bed, that’s when I can get a little bit of work done before I fall asleep on the couch while I’m working.