By CARLY ZHOU
Ms. Teresa Ozoa, an English teacher who has been part of the UHS family since 2001, will be celebrating her last year teaching this year.
She is currently teaching ERWC (Expository Reading & Writing Course) and Writing Across Genres. Several teachers have been trained in ERWC and have been shadowing her course, and are prepared to take over these sections as she retires.
In her 18 years at UHS, Ozoa has taught a variety of English courses.
“In order from 9th to 12th grade, I have taught English 2CP and English 2H (former level lead), English 3CP (former level lead) and AP Lang, Contemporary Studies in Language and Lit (a course I created primarily as an elective for English learners), Writing Across the Genres (a course I created as a core junior CP class with no British lit), English 4CP and ERWC,” Ozoa said.
Ozoa is also well-known across campus for her proficiency with technology. She teaches tech workshops regularly for the induction program that new teachers must go through, and is a Google Certified Innovator that has presented at EdTech conferences
“[Ozoa has] alway been on the cutting edge of bringing in new technology, new aspects of technology and supporting other teachers,” ELD Coordinator Ms. Freya Remmer said.
In an email to UHS staff, Ozoa discussed her plans for retirement.
“I am looking forward with great anticipation to being able to travel with my husband,” Ozoa said. “It’s bittersweet because I really enjoy what I do at Uni. I love the students, the staff is incredible. So I know it’ll be a big change and I’ll miss it a lot.”
Ozoa’s colleagues remember her as a valued friend and indispensable colleague during her time at UHS.
“Having personally become friends with Mrs. Ozoa, she’s a very delightful person – like she always goes to anime conventions, which is just fun hearing about it and you know enjoying her outside life is very vivacious and exciting,” Remmer said. “So I’ll miss hearing about some of that and I’ll keep up with her on Facebook.”
Students view Ozoa as an approachable and open-minded teacher, as someone who they could rely on and always nurtured learning.
“[I will miss] her friendly and nice personality,” senior Aryn Press said. “She’s really understanding and always willing to have a conversation.”
“I really appreciate how she was an abstract thinker,” senior Lily Krongold, a student of Ozoa this year, said. “She always encouraged us to think outside the box and critically about different topics.”
One student in her ERWC class, senior Branton Lucas, recalls her unique teaching style as a memorable and devoted educator.
“She’s a bright inspiring woman. She’s helped me develop a 3D perspective when it comes to making an assumption. Every single day for two years we as a class would work on this warm up named ‘Baby Animal’. At first I was naive and confused but slowly I trusted it and saw what it helped me with,” Lucas said. “I can’t thank her enough for that silly but effective way of learning.”
Her students, colleagues, and friends wish her the best in her future endeavors.
“Mrs. Ozoa has been a colleague and friend for almost two decades to me,” English teacher Ms. Christine King, who is a close colleague of Ozoa, said. “I wish for her a long and healthy retirement spending time with her own family after years of spending time with her Uni family. Students and staff alike will certainly miss her.”
“I hope whatever she has in store for the future she goes far because I know for a fact she has all the tools to do anything in this lifetime. When she reads this or if she reads this I would like to let her know that she’s made one of the biggest impacts in my life, I would’ve never known in a million years it was her,” Lucas said. “I’m blessed and honored to say that she was my teacher.”