Welcome Mr. O’Neil!

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Bella Klein ‘22, Staff Writer

This school year has been unlike any other with smaller classes, online schooling, and even new teachers in different departments. One new teacher that Oakland Catholic is fortunate to have in the Social Studies department is Mr. O’Neil. Mr O’Neil, who teaches World History, American History, as well as Psychology. Prior to working at Oakland, Mr. O’Neil worked as a substitute teacher, an EMT, and teacher at Quigley Catholic in 2017. Working as an EMT has helped Mr. O’Neil by giving him great communication skills and lessons that help him in classes such as Psychology. Given, I am currently taking his Psychology course, and from the perspective of a student it is interesting to hear him talk about his experiences as an EMT by applying it to the lessons he teaches. Aside from his EMT commitments, he is an active volunteer for the Civil Air Patrol, an organization affiliated with the United States Air Force. He is the Aerospace Education Officer at the Golden Composite Squadron where he teaches young  squadron cadets STEM related activities that help them explore military and aviation related careers. Along with Mr. O’Neil’s teaching roles, he also enjoys watching the Steelers and being with his family. He comes from a big family with five brothers and one sister. He has nine nieces and nephews with two more expected to be born in the next few months. Over the past few months, it has become easier for Mr. O’Neill to navigate remote learning. He notes it is a change for everyone with online courses and in school but believes we are all adapting well to this new change. In his first few months of working at Oakland he has loved witnessing the school spirit displayed by the students and how welcoming the staff is. One of his favorite aspects of teaching is when a student makes connections with past to the present. He explained saying,  ‘’When a student realizes that the curriculum has a connection to the society and then becomes more engaged in learning; nothing is better for a social studies teacher.” In my classes with Mr. O’Neil he does achieve this wish for us students to connect the past to the present by having us research past and present events. Oakland Catholic is fortunate to have gained a teacher like Mr O’Neil who allows us to have a voice in class while teaching lessons about history.