- Dylan Michaud
About Mrs. Neale I was surprised to find that Mrs. Neale had an adventurous childhood during which she spent a lot of time tagging along with her older brother, Billy, near their house in a rural Virginia. Theses adventures included going into the woods to catch snacks and tease snapping turtles. They would also chase their dogs around the large property they owned. Mrs. Neale's favorite childhood memory was the freedom of being able to explore around her house. Her yard was over the size of a football field and all her neighbors would come and play in the yard. She explained that it wasn't a working farm, it only had a vegetable patch, but they also raised goats, sheep, pheasants, peacocks, cats, dogs, and ducks. She would spend most of her day away from the house exploring the wilderness around her. She lived on the farm at the beginning of her childhood before moving to Philadelphia at 10 years old. She enjoyed how much of a simple, sheltered life she lived.
When Mrs. Neale got older she wanted to pursue education and helping others, as her mother did while working for the Red Cross during WWII. Her first teaching job was a summer job teaching elementary school. It was there that she realized how much she enjoyed education. However, it was when she was a social worker prior to that that she truly developed a passion for teaching. She had a double major in psychology and sociology in college. She really enjoyed working with people. She began teaching at Oxford 20 years ago after her family moved to Westbrook for job opportunities. She describes that she almost "fell" into the position because Mrs. White mentioned to a local librarian that knew Mrs. Neale that they were looking for a Latin teacher part time at Oxford Academy. She ultimately became a guidance counselor 7 years ago when a position opened up and she applied. Mrs. Neale is not exactly what you would expect. Don't judge a book by its cover. Everyone has a story. Finding out about Mrs. Neale was interesting. I'd like to know more about her.