The Teacher Feature blog series celebrates our faculty’s passion for education and their joy in the journey of building our students’ futures. In this series, we will get to know these beloved educators. Just like our students and families, our instructors matter here. To learn more, visit our website.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Mrs. Kelly Rodowsky ended up as a teacher. After all, her father was a History Professor and her mother is a Reference Librarian at the U.S. Naval Academy.
“I grew up in an academic family,” Rodowsky explained, “Education was very important.”
Initially, though, Rodowsky wanted to be an interior designer and chose a college based on that major. However, things changed once she actually started taking classes.
“Even though I thought I wanted to go the interior design route, by the time I got into college I did it for about a month, then I realized that I don’t like designing… I like decorating and that is very, very different! Interior design is colored architecture and you have to be very precise and good with math … and I’m terrible at math,” Rodowsky laughed.
Though she still enjoys interior design, like a lot of college students, she realized that the major wasn’t quite what she’d imagined and instead switched gears entirely.
She elaborated: “I figured out that I didn’t want to do that as a profession, so I just kept taking my general education credits to see what would happen. My sophomore year at Towson University in Maryland, I ended up declaring history as my major because I just did so well in it. It came very easy to me.”
While in college, Rodowsky student-taught with the Howard County Public Schools System where she was offered a contract before she even graduated. She then taught 9th and 11th Grade in the public school system for five years.
“I learned a lot. Public school is very different than private education,” Rodowsky explained. “I feel like being at a private school is almost like being able to teach at the community college level. The kids here are motivated, they want to go to college, they want to succeed, their parents are there to give them that support and you have this awesome little community that is all about giving the kids whatever they need to be successful.”
After graduating from Towson University and McDaniel College with her B.S. in History & Social Sciences, along with an M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction and a concentration in Educational Leadership, Rodowsky and her husband moved to, well, paradise: Maui, Hawaii. She taught on the island in 2008 at Maui Preparatory Academy before deciding to move back to the mainland.
“We knew we wanted to eventually move to Florida,” Rodowsky said, “It was just too expensive in Hawaii. We knew we couldn’t sustain the kind of life we wanted, out there.”
That is when Rodowsky discovered Academy at the Lakes.
“I liked that it was a small campus. I feel like I can have an impact here,” Rodowsky said.
At Academy, Rodowsky is known for her ability to relate to students, singing history-related songs in class and her epic Halloween costumes (ex: Honey Boo Boo and Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty). She has been teaching here for almost three years and hopes to do so for many more to come.
“I love it. Honestly. I never thought I’d be able to say that I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I really love it here and I will stay as long as they will keep me. I know we are going to get a little bit bigger, and I am willing to put in the time and effort into expanding the department. I’m hoping I can help shape the growth.”
Teacher Tidbits: Get to Know Mrs. Rodowsky
Color: Hot Pink
Animal: Three-toed Sloths, they just seem so happy, always smiling.
Kind of Music: I will pretty much listen to anything, although I love 80’s Pop, 90’s Hip Hop, Reggae and even Country music.
Food: Sushi, pretty much any type, especially sashimi.
Villain: The Joker
Superhero: Tony Stark/Iron Man
Finish the Sentence
My favorite subject in school was … History & Art
When I was in 12th grade, I wanted to be…an Interior Designer. I actually majored in Interior Design during my freshman year of college, I changed my major to History my sophomore year.
I love when my students … have an “A-ha” moment in class. I remember a student asked me one time in class, “Do you think people a few hundred years from now will look at us in the history books and think our stuff like the Iphone5 is primitive, just like we think about people and their stuff from history?” When students are able to put their lives in historical perspective, it makes me happy.
I love teaching at Academy at the Lakes because …the students make it a great place to teach. Academy has a wonderful student body full of extremely talented, dedicated, and hardworking students. I am in awe everyday of what our students are able to accomplish during their school careers. Academy students are involved in a variety of activities: sports, music, student government, drama, community service, and also perform at high levels academically. I love teaching in an environment that is committed to building well rounded students that take pride in themselves, their school and the greater community.
When I am not at school, I like to…stand up paddleboard, read books about interesting people, take longs walks along the beach with my husband and enjoy the Florida warm-weather lifestyle.
The best advice anyone ever gave me was…”Go with your gut,” people should trust their intuition.
In the movie of your life, what actor would you want to play you and what would the movie be called?
I think Kristen Bell would be an appropriate actress to play me, we share similar physical features and she seems like a fun, happy person. I’m not quite sure what the title would be but my brother told me it should be called “Awesome History!”
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
If you could interview anyone, alive or dead, real or fictional, who would you interview and what would your first question be?
I would sit down with Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha, and I wouldn’t ask him anything. I’d probably just smile in silence and hopefully he would share some of his insight with me, on his own.
If you could have any artist (alive or dead) draw a picture of you, who would you choose?
Andy Warhol, I like Pop Art.
If you could go back in time, where would you go and what would you do?
I would go back to live in the 1950’s and 1960’s, during America’s “Golden Age,” my parents and grandparents said it was a great time to be alive.
If you could live the life of any fictional character, what character would you choose?
I’d live the life of Mulan, a girl who was smart and had more to offer than living the traditional and expected life of woman. She becomes an expert in martial arts, a female soldier-holding her own with the guys, and just plain winning all over the place! What’s not to love about that life?
We had Mrs. Rodowsky’s students answer one question: What is your favorite thing about your teacher?
These are some of the responses:
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