Phys. Ed. Instructor Ms. O’Driscoll named Teacher of the Year


Ms. O’Driscoll has been working as a physical education instructor at Becton Regional High School for eight years.

Physical Education Instructor Ms. O’Driscoll has been named Teacher of the Year for the 2017-2018 school year. Ms. O’Driscoll has been working as a physical education instructor at Becton for eight years.

“I feel very honored and appreciated for winning this award,” she said. She then went on to add, “There are many qualified educators in this building that could have won this award, so it is really nice to know that people view me as a hard-working, respected and professional individual.”

Outside of the classroom, Ms. O’Driscoll is head coach of the Becton Volleyball Team and is the junior class/prom adviser. She has been coaching volleyball for four years and has been the adviser of the junior class and the annual prom for six years now. She has also coached the freshman softball team from 2012 through 2015.

Ms. O’Driscoll noted that a typical day as a physical education instructor and coach consists of patience, energy and discipline. Throughout each marking period, she stated that her goals are to receive full participation from her students and increase their skills, communication and knowledge of the activity that they are learning.

I feel very honored and appreciated for winning this award.

— Ms. O'Driscoll

“One thing I like most about my job is when I see a student who improves on a skill and gets excited about it. Whether it is catching a frisbee in the end zone, scoring a goal in floor hockey or passing a volleyball while demonstrating the proper technique, it is gratifying to witness the stages of improvement and accomplishment,” she said.

Ms. O’Driscoll also mentioned that another aspect of her job that she really enjoys is working with her colleagues in her department. “Mr. Settembrino and Ms. Giancaspro have been mentors of mine and have guided and supported me throughout all these years. I have truly learned from the best,” she said.

She also believes that she and her colleagues succeed in the gym because they communicate well and support one another. They are always putting in effort and are open to each other’s thoughts and ideas, which make their classes better and allows them to achieve more as a department. “My department is always creating a fun and positive environment, and I could not imagine working at any other school district,” said the Teacher of the Year.

A challenging part of being a physical education instructor, according to Ms. O’Driscoll, is getting students to not only participate in an activity, but also have fun and be safe. “Because we offer two to three difference activities per marking period, we usually do not struggle with too many students not wanting to participate, but for those that are not interested, it is our job to find a way to get them to become active.”

“In addition, there are a lot more students enrolled in gym class in comparison to a regular classroom, so classroom management is very important. Between the diverse personality traits and levels of competitiveness and opinions, an open-minded and comfortable environment must be created and maintained. Students may not always understand why we do not allow certain things to go on in the gym, but usually, the main purpose is for our students’ safety,” she said.

Outside of work, the Teacher of the Year enjoys spending time with friends and family, going to the beach, shopping or doing anything active. “I usually cannot sit still very long and need to keep busy,” she mentioned.

Last but certainly not least, her role models throughout her life have been her parents because they have both demonstrated hard work, determination, perseverance and strength. Ms. O’Driscoll expressed, “They have always taught me to never give up in anything I do and never settle for anything less than what I am capable of.”