Editor’s note: Answering The Purcell Register’s five questions this week is Jack McNeely, Purcell High School science teacher.
Q: Why science?
A: I’ve always been curious about how things work and what they’re made of. When my parents gave me an Edmund Scientific Chemistry set for my 5th birthday, studying science was locked in for life.
Q: How long have you been a teacher?
A: I did my student teaching at Hinton High School for six months, then was hired at Purcell High School in the summer of 1993. So, I’ve taught for a total of 29 years.
Q: What do you hope your students take away from your classes?
A: I hope all my students learn to respect others and their environment, discover that they can reach for and achieve more than they think they can, and develop a lifelong desire to learn more about everything in order to better our world.
Q: How did you come to teach at Purcell?
A: I had been driving 300 miles, three times a week into the University of Oklahoma while working on my Master’s degree in Natural Science (chemistry/molecular biology).When I started on my Doctoral work, my advisor, Dr. Ed Marek, told me that they wanted me closer to OU to do research and/or teach. The 900 miles a week wasn’t going to work. So, I interviewed with Norman Public Schools, but they had no openings at the time.
Danny Jacobs needed a middle school science teacher, so he called OU, let them know, later interviewed me, and hired me for the middle school position. However, before I was able to start at the middle school, I was changed to the high school. Been there ever since.
Q: What is your favorite science course to teach?
A: I love to teach all types of science courses. They are all interesting in their own way. If I had to pick one....I guess I’d have to go back to that chemistry set I got when I was 5, and say chemistry.
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