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Bill Bobrowsky: Mastering the art of teaching science

Wayland+High+Schools+new+Science+Department+Head+Bill+Bobrowsky+sits+at+his+desk+in+the+science+office.+This+year%2C+Bobrowsky+teaches+both+sophomore+environmental+chemistry+and+senior+forensic+science+on+top+of+being+the+department+head.+
Credit: Annika Martins
Wayland High School’s new Science Department Head Bill Bobrowsky sits at his desk in the science office. This year, Bobrowsky teaches both sophomore environmental chemistry and senior forensic science on top of being the department head.

At the start of this school year, William Bobrowsky began his job as Wayland High School’s new science department head. Even though Bobrowsky has experience teaching a range of different courses, he currently teaches sophomore environmental chemistry and senior forensic science at WHS in addition to being the department head.

Bobrowsky attended graduate school at the University of Michigan, and he worked alongside teachers in the Detroit Public School system before beginning his teaching career in 1992 in Keene, New Hampshire, where he taught at Keene High School for seven years. Bobrowsky was also the science department head curriculum coordinator at Westford Academy High School for eight years, and most recently, he worked in Franklin as the science department head.

“Both my parents were teachers, so it’s kind of a family business,” Bobrowsky said. “I had originally thought that I would be a professor at a college while I was studying astronomy, because I was a huge fan of Carl Sagan. Astronomy ended up not being my thing, but geology and earth science was, so I always knew that I’d be a teacher even from [a young age].”

Bobrowsky is an earth scientist by training, but also has a geology undergraduate degree. He taught chemistry, natural disasters and engineering courses at Westford Academy. When Bobrowsky worked in Franklin, he taught engineering, chemistry, Advanced Placement (AP) environmental science, anatomy physiology, biology and AP physics courses.

“I taught just about everything that could be taught in a science department,” Bobrowsky said.

Bobrowsky heard about WHS through sports, because Westford Academy and Wayland are both in the Dual County League (DCL), and Bobrowsky was both the track and field and field hockey coach for Westford Academy for a period of time.

“When the job [as the science department head] opened up, I [thought it was] a great opportunity to live a little closer to home, work with some great students [and] great staff,” Bobrowky said. “I’m glad I got this position.”

Even though Bobrowsky has experienced starting fresh in new schools before, it still took some time for him to adjust to WHS’ way of running things.

“It’s always a little nerve-wracking [thinking about] how I will fit in [at a new school],” Bobrowsky said. “But I feel confident enough in who I am and the way I interact [and communicate] with people that I know it’s going to work out and I’ll find my place. The people in the science department have been great [and] incredibly welcoming.”

Since Bobrowsky currently teaches two courses at WHS this school year, he has to manage the workload of both classes while also being the science department head.

“It’s a challenge,” Bobrowsky said. “Most department heads in other [schools] will only teach about half of the schedule. I’m teaching three-quarters of a schedule, [which is] three out of four classes.”

Bobrowsky is currently teaching an environmental chemistry course, which is a new learning experience for him. Last year, Bobrowsky was a mentee at Westford Academy when he taught a forensic science course for the first time. This year, Bobrowsky is a mentor for the forensics science class alongside Mrs. Carmichael, who is also relatively new to the course herself. Bobrowsky took this as an opportunity to bond with his new co-workers on partially unfamiliar territory.

“Mrs. Carmichael is relatively new to teaching forensic science with me,” Bobrowsky said. “So, we’re new to the course together, which is great, but it’s also a bit of a challenge. [I’m also] working with Ms. Frydman, [who is] new to teaching environmental chemistry, so we’re both [learning how to teach this course].”

Having a variety of outside experience teaching in different school districts allowed Bobrowsky to compare his experiences, and see how he can help improve the science department at WHS.

“As department head, I could have walked into [the science department] and been like, ‘I do things this way, and that’s the way it should be,’ and everyone would hate me,” Bobrowsky said. “[However,] you come in and you observe what the culture is [and] how things work.”

Bobrowsky has been teaching for 32 years, and his teaching experience has allowed for a smooth transition into the WHS community.

“The people in my department have been great,” Bobrowsky said. “They’ve been incredibly welcoming, [even] outside of the department.”

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About the Contributor
Annika Martins, Staff Reporter
Annika Martins, Class of 2024, is a first year reporter for WSPN. She plays basketball for Wayland’s girls Varsity team. Outside of school, she enjoys playing club basketball. Contact: [email protected]
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