Ever since she became a teacher, Tammy Nagle has been drawn to Catholic schools.
She said the influence of her family and her attendance at Jordan Catholic School and Alleman High School in Rock Island, Ill., gave her a strong moral and academic foundation that she relies on while teaching at John F. Kennedy (JFK) Catholic School in Davenport. Since 2004, she’s offered instruction in science, math, religion and social studies for various middle-school grades.
Like John F. Kennedy, Jordan and Alleman have high expectations for students, Nagle said. Both schools she attended stressed writing and critical thinking, which she emphasizes to her students today.
The schools also offered retreats and other opportunities to strengthen her faith life. She said such experiences helped provide a foundation that she relies on in teaching the faith.
“As a science teacher, I hope that my students see more clearly the wonder in nature and the world around us and how great God is in creating it all. Although I am not currently teaching religion, I enjoy watching the seventh- and eighth-graders as they prepare for confirmation through their saint reports, retreats and service projects.”
In science and social studies classes, Nagle is grateful to be able to freely discuss the moral implications of various topics. “I appreciate that we can talk about the religious dimensions of everyday life and openly pray for each other and people all around the world.”
The school prays daily, and students gather for weekly Masses. Being able to integrate faith into the school day in such ways makes her work meaningful, she said.
“I have stayed because the school and Our Lady of Victory Parish are like a family. It feels as though everyone has a common purpose, and I love what I do!”
She noted JFK has offered her numerous professional-growth opportunities as well; she’s served on several school committees and is working toward a master’s degree in education leadership. “I hope to serve Catholic schools in various capacities in the years to come.”