By Julia Barnett
After the shocking news of Mr. Keith’s retirement last spring, everyone was curious to see who would be joining the science research team. A teacher with a passion for research and love for science would be vital to continue this program’s excellence. Fortunately, it was easy to tell on the first day of class this fall that Dr. Matthew was the perfect fit and just what the program needed. Her extensive knowledge of scientific topics along with her enchanting accent and confidence put everyone immediately at ease.
Anyone who has spoken with Dr. Matthew immediately notices her British accent. She was born in London, England where she lived until high school graduation. After graduating, she indulged in her passion for traveling and took a gap year. When asked about her travel experiences, she remarked, “ I traveled to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Pakistan to climb the Himalayas.” Actually, when she was traveling in Pakistan she taught a lesson of biology to children near the Hindu Kush mountains. When she returned, she continued her studies in microbiology at the University of Edinburgh and received her Ph.D. in, “bacterial endosymbionts of tsetse flies.” In other words, she studied the beneficial bacteria in tsetse flies. After moving to America, she received an MS in teaching from Mercy College in Westchester.
Dr. Matthew loves working at Byram Hills and has had a great experience with all the students so far. Her favorite part of science research is the “diversity of topics that I interact with every day. I feel so intellectually challenged and stimulated by all the new disciplines and fields that my students bring to me and teach me about.” One of her students, junior Alessandra Colella describes her as, “encouraging and motivating and even though she is new to the program she jumped right in and is always willing to answer questions. Colella further states “she has been helpful in helping me chose the right path for junior year and moving me forward in my study.”
Outside of school Dr. Matthew loves to spend time with her family. She has twins who are three and a half. She has a lot in common with her husband and brother who are both teachers. Additionally, Dr. Matthew has an avid passion for knitting and loves crafts. In her free time, she likes to garden around her house. Most students may not know that Dr. Matthew used to keep bees!
Dr. Matthew is a great asset to the Byram Hills faculty due to her devotion and care for her students. We’re all very excited to see what amazing contributions she will bring to the science research team!