Behind the apple — Dr. Diane Reeder, Ashley Ridge High School
Diane Reeder, 56, of Summerville, grew up on Long Island. She graduated from State University of NY – Oswego with a BA in political science.
“I always wanted to be a teacher,” she says. “Back in ’78 we were pushed into more professional careers…I was going to be an environmental lawyer but I changed my mind after graduation and went into the Army.”
In the Army she specialized in Intelligence. She met her husband, married, got pregnant, and left the armed services.
She has worked for NATO in Germany as a records analyst for the El Paso Gas Co., in Houston among many other things, she laughs.
She and her husband decided they wanted to pursue their interest in the chiropractic field.
She graduated from the Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in Spartanburg with her doctorate and three kids – a 7-year-old, 2-year-old and 5-month-old. They headed south.
“We were headed toward the coast, and had to pull off the highway for the kids and discovered Summerville. We drove down Main St., and I looked at him [her husband] and said, ‘this is home.’”
They opened a practice, raised their children and her husband still practices here.
“Though I love chiropractic, it wasn’t where I thought I needed to be. My children came home from high school and didn’t like science any more. I thought, ‘maybe I should get into teaching – help them [students] love science.’ So I went through the Critical Needs alternate route into teaching.
In 2001, she applied to DD2. “They called me and asked what I wanted to teach and I said, ‘physical science’ and they said, ‘okay.’ No one wanted to teach that!”
“I absolutely loved it. Mrs. Radcliffe mentored me…in fact all my mentors teach here [ARHS].” In 2008 she came to ARHS and has been there ever since.
In addition to teaching she is the chair of the Science Dept., a cosponsor of the Science National Honor Society, a mentor and does the Tri-County Quest Science Team at Trident Technical College.
She says she has never really had a bad teaching experience, although some days are rougher than others. But every year, at graduation, watching the students cross the stage…“I am so honored to be part of that with them.”
Her professional goal is to become a better teacher.
“I want to get as many kids interested in science as I can.” She says she would never want to be an administrator. “I love being Queen of the Classroom!”
But seriously, she says, “I want the students that leave my classroom to be intellectually confident and lifelong learners. If I have helped them along that path, then I have done my job. Of course, I want them all to work in science and engineering but they get to choose that later!”
She and her husband, John, are parents of Kristen, 32, Karin, 27 and Katlin, 25 and grandparents to Gabriel, 11. Oh, and two Chihuahuas – Lulu and Jett.
When not at school, she says she loves to read. “I’m kind of a nerd, I like to work out math problems that I can use to teach.”
She bicycles when she has time and loves spending time with her family.
“I love to cook, from scratch, and my husband is a wonderful cleaner upper.”
She enjoys television as long as it is the history, science, Discovery channels or cooking shows.
“I used to play ice hockey, field hockey and basketball,” she says, “and I was on the swim team…got lots of medals.”
She also used to play the clarinet. Now she just loves listening to music.
She and her husband love to travel, especially to the desert.
Her life goal is to keep working until she can’t do it any more. “I identify myself with my work…I love to work.”