By Kate Anslinger
New Jersey native Jarae Farrell brings a lot of drive and positivity to the district as a special education teacher. The sports-minded educator shares her thoughts on leadership, learning, and how she realized she wanted to help others.
Farrell attended a private school for K-12, where she played several sports including, soccer, basketball and track. She went on to attend Vassar College for her undergrad degree in psychology and education. During this time she was a member of the Vassar College women’s basketball team. After earning her undergrad degree, she moved to New England to earn a master’s degree in special education from Boston University. Prior to coming to work in Winthrop, Farrell worked at the Mason-Rice Elementary School in Newton.
In a brief interview, Farrell opened up about where she comes from and where she wants to go…
Did you always want to be a teacher?
When I started at Vassar I was initially on the pre-medicine track, but I felt like something was missing. I decided to study psychology, and after taking courses in developmental psychology, I recognized that helping others was still important to me. How could I use my academic background, passion for helping others and leadership skills learned from being a student-athlete in college? I knew that teaching was the perfect field to hone my skill set and challenge me every day.
If you weren’t a teacher, what other career could you see yourself doing?
If not a teacher, I would want to be a lawyer. I’ve always been interested in studying law and helping others.
Is there someone who inspired you to teach?
I took my first special education course in college, and my professor/advisor opened my eyes to a completely new way of learning and interacting with students. She challenged us to think outside the box when it came to educating diverse populations of students, and I keep those lessons with me to this day. Other than my professor, the students I have taught over the past few years inspire me to be the best teacher I can be. I have learned a great amount from each one of them and love having the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of other people.
You are big into sports…how do you feel about Winthrop sports?
I played sports from the age of 3 all the way through college, so sports have always been a significant part of my life. I love that Winthrop gives its students a platform to develop their athletic, leadership, and team building skills. I recently visited Winthrop High School, and was amazed at the athletic facilities the school has available to its student-athletes. I am very interested in getting involved in Winthrop sports in some capacity, and look forward to following the seasons of its various sports teams.