Aster O’Leary teaches high school while attending college

Aster O’Leary fulfilled a lifelong goal of becoming a full-time teacher while attending Rice.

The senior from Vermont has been teaching full time – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday – at Heights High School as a part of Rice’s Teacher Certification Program for Undergraduate StudentsAster O'Leary teaches high school

“I wanted to be a teacher since I was really little,” she said. “My grandma, who I love and idolize, was a teacher in Rhode Island public schools for over 30 years. Growing up, I looked up to her and the connections that she made with her students.  I want to be that person for students who need those people in their lives.”

O’Leary and three other students are currently enrolled in the program.  She hopes more attention will attract more Rice undergraduates.  

“We just wish that more students at Rice would consider the education program and the teaching profession in general because there are a lot of people at Rice who are so passionate about academics and about the world around them,” she said. “High school students need those people in their lives.”

Students work at Rice CoffeehouseOutside the teaching certification program, O’Leary has found a second home at Coffeehouse, Rice’s student-run coffee shop. 

“I started working there freshman year,” she said. “I just have really appreciated the fact that it has provided me a really tight-knit community.”

About Brandon Martin

Greetings, I am a video producer at Rice University in the Office of Public Affairs. I became a Rice Owl in June 2011. Before that, I was at KPRC-TV in Houston as a special projects photojournalist for seven years, where I covered everything from hurricanes to sports. Southeast Texas has been my home my entire life. I am lucky to have a wonderful wife and two of the cutest girls I have ever seen. Go Owls!