Lauren Hannani staff writer
After coming to Beverly as a long-term substitute in place of a teacher on maternity leave last year, ninth and tenth grade English teacher, Patti Ann Harootian, returns to teaching for her second time as a member of the Beverly staff.
Harootian moved to California from her home state, Massachusetts, after receiving an email for an open position at Beverly. Although Harootian became very excited when offered this job, she was not fully prepared at first for the changes that this new job would make in her life.
“My husband and I and our family were on vacation; we were living in Massachusetts at the time, so we came here for the winter. While we were here, we thought we’d look for jobs, and we both got jobs,” she said. “We didn’t even have all our stuff with us.”
Although Harootian applied for the position because of the “school’s great reputation” and the city’s “tight community sense and small town feel,” her passion for English leads her to enjoy her time here as well.
“My credential is in English. I used to write for a newspaper. I have also written books, and I love writing. English was always my favorite subject in school, and I’m an avid reader and like to share things that I have a passion for with others,” she said.
Harootian decided to come back to Beverly again this year to reunite with her students and meet new ones, which is one of her favorite parts of the school.
“I absolutely love the students here. They are really nice, polite, respectful, hard working and interested in learning,” Harootian said. “I like the diversity; I like that I don’t see a lot of things that you hear about in the news. You hear about bullying, you hear about racism, you hear about discrimination. I’m sure it probably exists on some level, but I don’t see it. So it makes me really happy to work in an environment where everybody’s accepted and everyone seems to help each other out.”
As well as enjoying the company of her students, Harootian also appreciates the support her colleagues have provided.
“The English Department is incredibly supportive, helpful, nice. I only have positive things to say. From the people that work for security to the people in the attendance office to the janitorial staff, everyone here is just really nice. Everybody’s willing to help. It’s very much a team effort and everybody seems to be working toward the same goals and seems to really care about the students and each other,” she said.
In addition to teaching English, Harootian pursues her passion for writing by writing her own books. As one of her inspirations, her grandmother plays a big role as a direct influence in her life and her books.
“My grandmother is a huge influence in my life. She is an Armenian genocide survivor and I actually wrote a book inspired by her experiences during the genocide, which is not published yet. She was a really amazing woman; what was most impressive was that despite the horrific things that she saw, she always had a positive outlook on life and she was very accepting. She didn’t have hatred for anyone.”
Harootian makes sure to understand other teaching methods, but she also has her own unique style for her students.
“I like to make things applicable to the real world. I like to have students feel like there’s a reason they learned what they did. I don’t like busy work; I like assignments that are meaningful and I like them to feel like, ‘Oh, this is why I’m learning this. This is something I can apply later on in life’ or ‘This is going to make me a better person,’” Harootian said.