- Patricia Kenefick
has a wild streak, and it's not just the flash of purple in her
There's the flashy Corvette she
drives and the funky jewelry she
wears - on Monday she
wears a blue mirror-finished spider hanging from a silver chain around her
Although it's been a few years since she
turned 30, she
feels, and therefore acts, 30.
Life has to be fun, she
said, and that's the attitude she
tries to bring into her
classroom.She is DePaolo Middle School's gifted and talented teacher, runs the school's athletic program, advises the Peer Advocates and the Environmental Club, and is co-chairwoman of the town's Drug Task Force.
Before transferring to DePaolo, Kenefick
taught at Alta, the town's alternative high school program.It was there that Kenefick
developed many of her
beliefs on teaching.The students at Alta may have dressed and acted outside of the norm but she
learned they all had character and warmth.
"It's what's under the hair that counts," she
hair immediately attracts attention.
"My family likes to walk behind me and watch people's reactions," Kenefick
Front and center of her
ebony locks is the flash of bright purple.Over the past 12 years, Kenefick's bangs have been royal blue and hot pink.Just once, she
dyed it blond, but it turned lime green.When she
hair go natural, even her
father advised her
to go back to the purple, which remains her
"It's fun," she
What does stand out about Kenefick
is her passion for teaching and for her students and her desire to be involved, Telesca said.
is in charge of the science fair and has made getting students interested in science part of her
wants to see more girls become interested in science careers and tries to bring in programs like the Bio Bus, which visited the school last year and helped students learn about forensics.She
remains impressed with what students can do with computers.They can do large amounts of research in a small amount of time using the Internet and use Microsoft Power Point to create presentations on the information.
"If they can get a focus at this grade level, that's always valuable," she
said."They become experts and can teach other students."As a teacher, Kenefick sees herself as someone who motivates students.