Teacher Feature: Colleen Russo


Kaeli Jutras, Staff Writer

Do you ever wonder why teachers become teachers? Do they dream of becoming a teacher all of their lives? Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Mrs. Russo didn’t. Mrs Russo is a math teacher at Goffstown High School. She had no plans of becoming a teacher when she grew up. There was nothing she really wanted to do; nothing really called to her. How did Mrs. Russo land the job she loves so much? She stumbled upon it on accident. She didn’t go to school for teaching math, or any other subject, but she did go to school for math. For a long time she switched between jobs in the banking industry.  She was a mortgage officer, worked in a brokerage firm, and was even fingerprinted by the FBI because she handled stock bonds. All of these jobs were math related because she loves math; she just never thought of teaching it.

Then she had kids, and she stayed home with them. They were young and needed attention, so she stopped working. When her kids started getting old enough to take care of themselves, she decided she wanted something to do again. She wasn’t thinking of getting a full-time job, she just wanted something to do during the days. Her friend suggested substituting, so she went to fill out a sub application. She only checked off two of the three boxes, elementary and middle school, because that’s what grades her kids were in, but the lady in interviewing convinced her to check off high school too.

The first class she subbed for was at Maple Ave, an elementary school, and she found that at the end of the day she was too exhausted to keep up with her own kids. On top of being exhausted there was a stomach bug going around, and she had to worry about getting it, and giving it to her kids. The next class she subbed for was at the high school, and it was a math class. She immediately enjoyed teaching high school students math more than elementary students, and her previous jobs. She came to GHS multiple times to sub math classes and really loved it.

One time, when she was subbing another math class, Mr. McBride, the principal of GHS, came to check on her. She explained to him how she enjoys teaching way more than she thought she would, and he convinced her to become a permanent teacher. Usually trying to become a teacher and not having a teaching certificate would be a problem, but not with alt-certification. With alt-certification, Mrs. Russo was able to start teaching and get her certificate at the same time.

She didn’t mean to find a job she loved so much, but she did, and she still absolutely loves it. Of course there are bad days as Mrs. Russo explains, “It can be like I don’t want to go in. I don’t want to go back, and then [I] see the kids, and [I’m] like I like it here. I’m glad I’m back”.