Ms. Berry is an English teacher, poet, and the chair of the Humanities Department. Arriving in 1990 to live in Bill’s House with her husband, Jack, her kindness and commitment to service have inspired countless Saints to be gentle, to be loving, and to make our world a better place.
Q: What led you to St. Andrew’s?
A: My husband Jack and I moved to St. Andrew’s to be dorm parents. It was 1990 and we moved with our three sons from Seekonk, MA, into Cady House, which was the boys' dorm at the time. We then moved to Bill’s House the following year. Before St. Andrew’s, I was teaching at Roger Williams University as an adjunct instructor after earning my master’s degree from Brown University. I was asked to teach one class here at St. Andrew’s (as a long-term sub) and then a job opened up. The rest is history.
Q: What is most rewarding about your job?
A: The most rewarding aspect of my job is connecting with students in the many ways that is possible, facilitating, witnessing their growth; when students see or understand something from a different angle and a door opens, or when they dig deep and understand themselves better.
Q: What do you do outside of work? Any hobbies or favorite activities?
A: I write, mostly poetry, and make visual poems. I cook, bake, read, garden, and play with my two young grandchildren.
Q: Have you had any key mentors or people who deeply influenced you? If so, who and what impact did he/she make?
A: As far as teaching, Bill O'Hearn was a strong influence on me. He gave me permission to dream big and the freedom to make ideas become reality, to support thinking outside the box. His criticism was constructive and blunt, he listened to student feedback and in turn shared that with me so I could learn from it. He asked me what my dream school would look like, and then told me to make this school that dream.
Q: What might people be surprised to know about you?
A: I was on the boys' indoor track team in high school.