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Know Your Pelicans

Loretta Owens (she/her)

Dean, Class of 2026; 10th Grade Health Teacher

Know Your Pelicans

What are your impressions of Packer so far? Our students? Your colleagues?

I know this may sound like a typical answer, but I am truly SO happy to be a part of the Packer community. From the moment I interviewed last year, I felt such warmth from everyone, and after 6 months of being here, it feels like this is where I've always belonged. The students are obviously incredible, and always so willing to help me with questions that I have at times (mostly where a classroom is, because I seem to always forget how to get to A414), and my colleagues are so knowledgeable and kind. Packer has given me so much joy, and I'm so happy that I get to work at a school as magical as this one.

What do you teach? What is one of your favorite parts of the curriculum? 

I teach Health 10, and my favorite part of our curriculum is how ever-changing it is. Issues around health are intersectional, and it's great to be able to tie everything we're discussing to real-life situations and structural issues, and have our students make connections to the world around them.

Why do you teach? What do you like about being a teacher?

I teach because I believe in the transformative power of education, and because I had the privilege of having an education that pushed me to expand the way that I viewed the world, and most importantly, myself. My favorite part of being a teacher is how I am able to co-create a space where I learn just as much from the students as they do from me. I try to remember Paulo Freire as I teach, and I want to ensure that my students feel like "active agents" in the classroom.

Outside of your job at Packer, what do you love to do?

Outside of Packer, I love to hang out with my Frenchie Stella (she's 3 and a sassy bundle of joy), find unique things at the thrift store near my house, and try new eats around the city (and by city I mostly mean Brooklyn ha!)

What's one thing most people at Packer would not know about you?

I know how to longboard! I learned last April and I'm pretty good at it (I think!).

Tell us about a specific time you found your job especially rewarding. 

Every year the incoming ninth graders get to go on a camping trip at the beginning of the year, and it was my responsibility to plan it before I officially started in my role. I remember being really anxious about everything going to plan and once we arrived and got settled, all of my anxiety went away once I saw our kids having fun participating in the various activities like canoeing, basketball and rock climbing. So much of my job involves being reminded that our kids deal with very heavy things at times, and getting to see them be free of worry and truly immersed in the moment was incredibly rewarding.

Tell us about a specific time you learned something from our students.

It's hard to pinpoint a particular time, because I learn something from them every single day!

Besides your subject, what's something you hope to teach your students?

I want to teach my students that, inherently, they are all enough. No amount of awards or good grades will allow them to be more worthy of respect or acknowledgment. They deserve that because we all deserve that, no matter our mistakes or standing in life.

What are the strengths of your department?

The greatest strength of the health department is our team. Each person brings such a wide range of experiences and expertise that allows us to provide an enriching curriculum to our students.

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