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The Student News Site of Abington Senior High School

The Abingtonian

The Student News Site of Abington Senior High School

The Abingtonian

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Abington Spotlight: Ms. Boland


During the new and improved lunch and learn schedule, students have extra time to visit teachersSince Abington High School is packed full of students and teachers who have led intriguing lives, I decided to take the opportunity to dive deeper into the life of one teacher in particular who intrigued me, Ms. Maureen Boland. As I learned more about what led her to where she is today, I grew more and more grateful for the chance to be her student. 

Ms. Boland grew up in Rutherford, New Jersey, the birthplace of the poet William Carlos Williams. She often went into New York City where her father was an engineer who oversaw the building of The Twin Towers. In high school, following the footsteps of her family, she showed an initial interest in math. However, as the youngest of four children, she wanted to make her own mark. After her sophomore year in college, she switched her major to English. “I love the inquiry-based aspect of English literature, the asking of the big questions,” says Boland. “But I think I also just wanted to rebel a little bit against my engineer father and my STEM-y family. I wanted to carve out my own voice.”

Boland earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in English Literature and journalism while editing the UD Review. Post-graduation she served as an editor on various magazine staffs: Redbook Magazine, Healthy Woman (now Women’s Health), and Parenting. She later wrote many articles for women’s and health magazines as well. Throughout her career in journalism, Boland got to work with several acclaimed figures–Caroline Kennedy, JFK’s daughter, and writer Joyce Maynard, ex-girlfriend of J.D. Salinger. Boland also attested to the travel opportunities that came with working as a journalist. The fast-paced magazine world kept her on her feet—and with every new editor-in-chief came new challenges. “It’s eat or be eaten in the journalism world. That’s the part I didn’t so much love,” she admitted. The harsh cut-throat environment made her “grow up fast” and eventually led her to consider other pursuits that might tap into her love of the written word. 

Working in New York City was a big part of Boland’s life for the several years she worked there. She talked about how she enjoyed the culture and variety the city had to offer: “I loved working in Manhattan. There’s nothing better than taking the train in the morning, arriving at Penn Station, and walking up the steps to the street, bombarded by the city’s sights, sounds, and smells, feeling the energy rising and the frenetic pace of the city sort of hit you in the face. The feeling the city brings that anything is possible is intoxicating.”

After Boland worked for nearly two decades in the journalism industry and had her second child, it was time for a career change. She completed her post-baccalaureate teaching certification and years later earned a master’s degree in teacher administration from Villanova University. When asked about what inspired the change of paths, she professed, “I always loved to read literature and to ponder the human condition as we do in English class, to linger and live in the possibility of the gray and not the black and white.” Compared to the journalism industry, which can have a broad effect on the outcome of events or people’s choices, teaching allows you to get closer to the impact you make, to which Boland has to say: “I remember being 15/16, sitting in a desk, being lectured to, wondering when I’d ever realistically use a mole from Chemistry or the quadratic formula from Calculus class,” she recalls. “So while I try to bring high expectations to my classroom and cover a lot of content, I also try to remember what it’s like to be a teenager and bring a soft heart and compassionate approach.” The central tools she wants to leave her students by the end of the year are stellar writing skills and a keen test-taking savvy. Boland vouches for the importance of her subject matter: “I’d argue English class is the most important class. No matter what you want to do or be, it’s essential that you’re an effective writer and speaker–it’s your best weapon.”

Of course, she’s not limited to what she does within the confines of school and has an assortment of activities she enjoys during non-business hours. Boland enjoys reading, skiing, strolling local parks with her friends, family, and two dogs, yoga, and traveling. She recently took up tennis and pickleball. “When I was a little older than my students–just as I graduated college–I backpacked through 13 countries for a summer with my best friend. It changed my life and opened my eyes to the possibilities of the world.” Her favorite city remains Venice, Italy. Continuing to nourish her adventurous mindset, she goes to Philadelphia nearly every weekend to see museums, eat, shop, stroll the city streets, people-watch with her husband and when she can, visit her two girls: one a lawyer living in Philadelphia, and the other an engineering and robotics student in Boston who studied abroad herself for a year in London. 

As for plans for the future, another chapter of Boland’s life may be in the works. She says, “I’m looking forward to Act III. I’ll definitely be writing,” she explains. “I know that, no matter what I do next, my writing experience will serve me well.” 

It was an honor to get a look into the riveting life of Ms. Boland— before, during, and after teaching. I look forward to seeing where she goes next! 

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About the Contributor
Sarah Rothman
Sarah Rothman, Opinion Editor
Hi! I'm Sarah, a co-editor of the opinions section this year! I love to write and am grateful for the opportunity to share it through The Abingtonion! I love science, music, fashion, and movies. I love connecting with people over shows and artists, and look forward to growing the opinions section of the 2023-24 school year!

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