Departing from the MacDuffie school after the 2020-2021 school year is English teacher Jessi Panico. After teaching at The MacDuffie School for 5 years, she has held positions such as R.A, coach, Magnet Advisor, Yearbook Advisor, J.C Faculty Representative, and English teacher.
Panico will be moving to Connecticut as she continues to pursue her teaching career by acquiring a teaching license in Connecticut. She says that she is leaving MacDuffie for a mix of personal and professional reasons. She expressed that she values the teaching experience she has gained by working at MacDuffie and is excited to take that experience with her to new adventures.
Panico described the MacDuffie students as “ a vibrant, intelligent, and wacky group”. She described her classes by articulating that all of her classes had “a different feel”.
She reminisced on her time being a Magnet Advisor by saying, “From ending meetings with puns and bad jokes, to long afternoons putting together print editions, to the buildup and excitement of Magneto, the Magnet has been a spotlight of my time at MacDuffie.”
She explained that she was happy to be a part of her student’s lives, and she would like to thank the students who made her laugh by “ telling me stupid jokes and playing pranks on me.”
As for what she has learned throughout her time at MacDuffie, she said, “I started at MacDuffie as a brand new teacher, so I gained a lot of experience here, both teaching and otherwise. I think this year, in particular, with COVID and distance learning, taught me a lot about the importance of having empathy.” She conveyed the importance of teachers being empathetic and keeping the stories and experiences of the students in mind.
Ms. Panico was asked what she would like to leave her students with as a closing note to her time here at MacDuffie. She said that she would miss her students. She explained that because she is a young teacher, she doesn’t have very much impactful life advice she feels she can give. What she did say was that “ you matter, and your high school experience and your experience as a teenager matter. I think all too often we dismiss the feelings of teenagers as ‘too dramatic’ or invalid because of lack of experience. But that’s such a mistake; you have important and interesting things to say and your experiences are worth sharing.”