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Faculty juggle family, career

A sighting of a teacher in the grocery store leads to a realization for a student. Teachers do not live at school, nor are their interests limited to science or geometry. While they appear to dedicate themselves to students on campus, many have their own families.

Teachers juggle school responsibilities with care for their own children. Bill McGowen, biology teacher, announced that he and his wife are expecting their fourth baby in April.

“The most exciting thing about welcoming a new baby is seeing the look on our other kids’ faces,” McGowen said. “We love having a large family, although the mornings are stressful. It’s all worth it when you come home to smiling faces and hugs every night.”

Josh Tosland, leadership adviser, welcomed a new baby just before the onset of the school year. After a stay at the Stanford University Medical Center, Tosland and his wife, Amy, returned home.

“When we brought Luke home, along with Isaiah, we were excited to add to our family,” Tosland said. “When you leave school, you have to leave those problems at school and focus on the family.”

According to, parenting matters every day. They believe being a parent is both the most rewarding and most challenging thing to experience.

“Once when I was trying to change Luke’s diaper, Isaiah was running around all over the place, naked.” Tosland said. “I learned not to get upset over everything, but to laugh because kids will model what they see you do.”

For new dads, baby chores often demand diligence. According to the 2003 US Census Bureau, only 60% of fathers manage to have dinner with their young children daily.

“The first time I changed a diaper, I thought I was going to lose it,” McGowen said. “After being around dissected organisms, I thought I was ready for anything. I couldn’t even keep the diaper on, but now I can change one like a pro.”

A new baby often seems to instill a sense of wonder in parents and awakens a sense of protectiveness.

“You see something so small, and you instantly love it,” Natalie Douty, English teacher, said. “I feel so protective of my daughter, Elisabeth, and amazed at God’s plan for her life.”

Douty occasionally brings her three daughters to school for supervision and fun.

“They love to come to watch my brother, Ronnie (Giannetta, ’08), play in the basketball games,” Douty said, “and my oldest goes to preschool on campus. Since my husband and I went to school here, it’s fun for us to bring our daughters into our ‘second home’.”

From the perspective of a child, Meliz McGowen, ’16, enjoys her role as a “teacher’s kid”.

“It’s fun to have my dad at school because I get to know the kids, I can get a feel for high school,” Meliz said. “Although he doesn’t embarrass me, I have brought silly pictures of him to school, and showed them to his students. That was really funny.”

Junior Dustin McDonald remembers the escapade, occurring during baseball practice last year.

“It was so funny that Meliz brought those photos out there,” McDonald said. “They were really funny pictures. He was really embarrassed; it was ironic that his own daughter would show them to us.”

For some staff members, the birth of a first child marks the start of a new adventure. Parents gain advice from friends and relatives pertaining to the addition to their family. Secretary Jennifer Lee and her husband are expecting their first child in January.

“My husband and I are very excited for the baby to be born,” Lee said. “I am kind of worried because it is new ground, and there are a lot of unknowns, but I feel this experience is a great blessing.”

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  • R

    Rachel GuthrieNov 15, 2009 at 6:47 am

    When Mr. Bryan and Mr. Kela both told us they were leaving, I was heartbroken.

    I always looked forward to going to choir everyday because of these two guys. They made music so much more enjoyable for me, and have really helped my voice mature, I believe. They both say that the reason our choir is so good is because of us with some help from them, but mainly us.

    It’s kind of hard to not have an amazing choir when your accompanist is like the best in the world and the choir director knows everyone’s voice and can pick the best song choice for the choir that’ll make us sound amazing.

    Now I understand why they are leaving and it’s still is hard for me, but if this is what they feel God is leading them to do, then I’m happy for them. I’m still going to be in choir next year, but whoever is the new choir teacher for next year will have some big shoes to fill… not to be saying anything mean about Mr. B, haha.

    I’ll miss you guys!