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School of Education

In Focus: Kristine O'Malley-Levy

Tell us about yourself and what brought you to Hofstra to study Fine Arts Education.
I was Creative Director and Art Director of Doubleday Direct when Amazon hit and decimated the book club industry. Having always wanted to teach art, the timing was right to shift gears to something more personally fulfilling, and less stressful.

Have you always known you wanted to be a teacher?
No. I wanted to be a graphic designer, and was, for many years. But eventually I felt like I wanted to give something back as I had a lot of real world experience. I had reviewed many designer portfolios of jobseekers as part of my different positions, and knew I could help students better prepare.

How did your program at Hofstra help prepare you for the job search?
My Hofstra Art Ed program was quite helpful. While I knew the industry, I was not up to speed on teaching pedagogy, constructing rubrics, etc. I was teaching in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, but wanted to move to a rural community, and now I teach in Germantown, NY. It’s a wonderful community.

What are some highlights of your time here?
I found Dr. Susan Zwirn to be an effective and invaluable mentor, as well as a strong advocate and reference in the job search. When navigating the state requirements as a new teacher, the staff and services of the Educational Support Services office were especially helpful.

What advice do you have for future teachers?
The pendulum will swing and teachers will once again be valued instead of vilified by the press, so if you really want to teach, just go for it. Also, be up to speed on your technology and support your union.

What are your goals for the future?
My future goals are to facilitate and see more collaboration in professional development among teachers in rural areas.

Kristine O'Malley-Levy

M.S.Ed. in Fine Arts Education '07
Berkshires, MA