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New Teacher Follows Family Tradition

Growing up with both parents as teachers, Anna Balouskus always thought she would take a different career path. But while studying biology at Boston College, the newest member of the Weston High School science staff couldn't escape her teaching genes.

"I always loved science so I thought I would definitely be in medicine and started out at Boston College with those intentions, but about halfway through I realized that I was wasting my time," the Fairfield resident said. "I would honestly sit in class sometimes and think about, 'If I ever had my class one day, this is how I would set it up and this is what I would do.'"

When three science teachers at an Ansonia high school took off part of the year for maternity and medical leaves, she decided to try teaching at the very school where her mother was once a special education teacher and her father once taught science.

"It was very much authentic teaching experience. It was extremely helpful because I had no training at that point," said Balouskus, who grew to love science because of her dad and her high school biology teacher. "I was straight out of college with just a biology degree, so it was kind of just getting thrown into the fire there, but it was a great experience."

That experience, followed up with 15-month master's and certification program at Western Connecticut State University, helped her land her first job as a full-time certified teacher in Weston this fall, teaching geophysical science and chemistry.

"I've only had great things to say so far about being in Weston. [My students] are very bright," said Balouskus. "I think the most challenging part has been coming up with inspiring lessons every day.

"Like I was inspired by my freshman year biology teacher — that's what I want to be able to provide my students."

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