The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

Featuring PMHS Teachers

Ms. Depoo
Photo by Sadie Wisniewski
Before being in the Patchogue -Medford School District Mrs. Depoo worked in a specialized school in the city. For many of the students who attended this school English was not their first language. Some of them even spoke foreign languages such as Mandarin. After that, she worked at the Middle Country School District. This is her first year in Patchogue-Medford, she was a leave replacement at the High School, and a permanent sub at Oregon Middle School.

Our seventh featured teacher is Ms. Depoo. Although Ms.Depoo is not currently teaching at the high school she has already done so much for the district such as being a leave replacement and teaching Global History One and Psychology. Since her time as a leave replacement has ended, she is now a permanent sub at Oregon Middle School. Ms. Depoo finds being a permanent sub interesting because it is a different experience every day, sometimes she even must teach Physical Education! Mrs. Depoo is also working to get her master’s degree to continue her teaching passion further.  

Ms. Depoo was asked select questions that go beyond only what goes on in the classroom and these were her responses: 

Q: What inspired you to become a history teacher? 

A: I always had a passion for history. I used to like Barbie around the world as a kid. My dad would always buy them for me, and each one would teach me about a different place. This is how I realized my passion for history. My dad was also a history teacher and when I saw what he was doing it appealed to me. I realized that there aren’t many jobs where you could just be a nerd, talk about history, and have people listen to you. 

Q: What did you feel like on your very first day of being a teacher?  

A: I was so scared I threw up that morning and threw up the night before. I am young, and I look young. I was fearful that the students weren’t going to take me seriously, but they ended up all being great. When I got home that day, I realized that there was no reason to be as fearful as I was. Growing up, I was always an anxious person, so not many people thought I had the courage to be a teacher, as it is an extremely demanding job and involves standing up in front of people daily. I was able to overcome these challenges because it is something that I must do every day, so I began to get used to it.  

Q: What is one experience you had in your life that was a sense of growth or realization? 

A: The day I graduated college. I realized that everything up until then was so easy because everyone was a student. Having that moment where you are no longer a student and must become something else is a big sense of growth in life. I got home from my graduation that night at 10pm and the next morning I started working as a sub. These two days were another large sense of growth for me because I went from being a student to working in my chosen profession in one day. 

Q: What are your passions outside of being in the teaching profession? 

A: Self-care is important to me. With a job like teaching, it is important to prioritize yourself as it can be demanding. Doing self-care such as things like getting my nails done, getting a blow out, or even a facial are all things that can make me feel better and help me to balance my personal life and my work life. I also have a cat that I absolutely love. Outside of that, teaching has always been my main passion. I am always doing research on my freedom on how to improve my teaching skills. 

Q: What is your favorite topic to teach during the school year and why? 

A: I love psychology. When I taught it as a leave replacement, I was nervous because I never had experience with it. I was learning with the students, and it was relaxed and flexible. On Valentine’s Day I did this activity with the class where students were given 36 questions to ask the person they want to fall in love with. Two psychologists came up with this concept saying that if these 36 questions were asked the person will fall in love with you. There were so many different options when it comes to teaching psychology class. 

Q: What is one word you would use to describe yourself when you were in high school and why? 

A: Quiet, I was a very quiet student. I laid low, I had a bunch of different friend groups I didn’t just have one group, I drifted around. I did my work and did what I had to do. 

Q: Who is a person in your life that had an impact on you and how did they change you?  

A: My dad, he immigrated here when he was five. He came from a poor family, and he built himself up by himself. Many of my values came from him like emphasis on education and family values. I became a teacher because he was a teacher. I would do anything that my dad would do, even if he was a meat packer, I would do it. My dad has a lot of great qualities and I want to follow in his footsteps. He used to be a teacher and now he is an ambassador. He did it all with no help. 

Q: What college did you go to? What was your favorite experience you had during college and what makes it your favorite? 

A: I went to SUNY New Platz. The school was 3 hours away from where I lived. All the people had crazy and different experiences from me. No one knew who I was when I got to college, so it gave me a chance to re-invent myself.  

Q: If you could say one thing to your high school self, what would it be and why?  

A: To relax, everything will be fine after high school, not to take myself so seriously and things will work out. 

Q: What is a quote you live by? Why do you think this quote is important? 

A: “It’s better to ask for forgiveness then to ask for permission.” That is how I operate, if I want something or have a goal, I will do anything I can to achieve it. I will never let anyone get in the way. If I ever mess up, I will want forgiveness afterwards.  


View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sadie Wisniewski
Sadie Wisniewski, Staff Writer
Class of 2024. Loves: writing, cats, and theater. Fears: failure and heights. Wishes: I could only talk to cats.

Comments (1)

All The Red & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    Tyler DrummondJun 5, 2024 at 10:38 am

    So proud of you Jess!