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Meet staff member Holly McNamara

Holly McNamara standing in classroomHi! I am Holly McNamara. I am a social studies teacher at Jarvis Middle School. I teach U.S History and New York State History 7.

How long have you been teaching or working in the district?

This is my second year at Central Valley.

What do you like best about what you do?

My favorite part of my job is interacting with my students. I love having great conversations with them and seeing the wheels of their minds turning. My students never believe me when I say it, but I can never pick favorites and there isn’t a student that I don’t like!

Where are you involved outside of school and what do you like best about it?

I am a member of the Board of Trustees for the Waterville Public Library. I love it because I love libraries, books, and reading so it is interesting to have a behind-the-scenes view of what is involved in the running of a successful library. I know I’m biased, but I think our library is the best around!

What former jobs have you held?

I also am a Registered Nurse and actually left healthcare to become a teacher. I have worked in hospitals, nursing homes, and was a school nurse in Utica for a year and a half. I have also worked as a medical transcriptionist. As a teacher, I have taught at a private school, in adult education, and at a charter school before I was hired here at Jarvis.

Where were you educated?

I have an associates degree from MVCC, earned my teaching degree at Utica College, and I have a masters from Grand Canyon University…but I’m hoping it won’t stop there. I love being a student as much I as I love being a teacher!

Where have you lived?

I grew up in New Hartford. I also lived in Maine and New York Mills before I moved to Waterville where I’ve lived for 13 years.

If you could do anything on a weekend, what would you do?

Honestly, I’d be completely happy if I could spend all weekend every weekend reading, but that gets a little boring for my family. My daughter and I enjoy watching movies and Netflix together during the colder months (my husband works overtime during the winter), and in the nicer weather we enjoy camping and traveling.

What book and/or author are you currently reading?

I always have a stack of books that I’m reading. A few from my pile right now are Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung which is a memoir of when the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia, and Katharine Graham’s Washington.

If we were to listen to your iPod or sound system, what would be playing?

I love most music and listen to pretty much everything, but right now I’m a little obsessed with the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman because my daughter and I just watched it last weekend and loved it.

What is your favorite television show/movie/actor?

My favorite television show is Gilmore Girls. I can’t even guess how many times I’ve watched all of the seasons and can quote a number of Gilmore-isms.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Anywhere! I love to travel, but I’ve never traveled outside of the U.S. and only have visited about a third of U.S. states. I’d love to travel to Italy with my sister, take an Alaskan cruise with my husband, and my favorite place to go with my daughter is NYC, even though I’ve been many times, I always love to go back.