Mary Westwater

- Faculty; On Campus

 
Westwater_Mary
It's a gift to be at SNHU.
 
 

Assistant Professor Mary Westwater says she's inspired by her students in the School of Education.

"It's easy to develop your passion in that kind of atmosphere," she says. "Their tongues are hanging out because they want this more than anything."

Westwater was once just like them.

At the age of 19, with two years of college under her belt, the Bronx native dropped out to take a job teaching third grade at a Catholic school in New Jersey.

She was assigned to a classroom with 54 children.

"I didn't know what I was doing, but I did everything I knew," she recalls.

A year later, she returned to school and finished her undergraduate education.

 She spent the next 15 years in New York, teaching first, third and fifth grades, then middle school, where she worked with struggling readers.

Teaching middle school sparked Westwater's interest in literacy education. Later, as a teacher in the Amherst, N.H. school district, she spent two, sixth-month sabbaticals in New Zealand, the country with the highest literacy rate in the world.

"I came home with my head brimming with ideas for literacy development," she says.

Now, Westwater is sharing those ideas with future teachers.

"It's a gift to be at SNHU," she says. "It's kind of like the icing on the cake for me, since it has been my passion to inspire teachers and to encourage young people to go into what I think is the noblest profession."

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