Enter stage left, Mr. Roach

Jones students and admin welcome new drama teacher

After a month without a drama teacher, Brennan Roach is joining the Jones staff in a temporary position.  

At a competitive school like Jones, the hiring process has been very selective, making it difficult to find the right fit for the position.

“It’s always a challenge to find a well qualified person, especially if something comes up and you have to do it quickly,” said Jones Principal Paul J. Powers. “We got applications from several people who were quite good and experienced.” 

Roach was chosen for a multitude of reasons, ranging from qualification to character. 

“[We were looking for] someone who has both high school and professional experience, which he does have both,” Powers said. “We needed somebody who has good communication skills and can relate to others”

Roach’s qualifications and characteristics were impressive. 

“He’s very personable, he’s very outgoing. He has a very positive outlook,” said Powers. “Once we completed our interview he clearly was our first choice.”

After being hired, Roach began working on Monday, Nov. 29.

“The nerves I experience at home, but then once I get here and once I am in the classroom with students all that goes away because it just feels right,” said Roach.

Taking on a position in the middle of the school year was unanticipated, and transitioning into the school was much different than had Roach begun in the beginning of the year.

“It was so sudden and unexpected,” said Roach. “It was definitely interesting to have the first day of school for me happen the Monday after Thanksgiving break. There’s a different energy on the true first day of school.”

While making a drastic adjustment can be difficult, Roach expressed gratitude towards those who helped him along the process. 

“I’m just so excited. For as much as it has been a whirlwind to learn new faces in the past few days, it’s really outstanding just how supportive everyone has been in helping to make this transition happen,” Roach stated.

Many students are excited to welcome Roach to the school and were happy once they got the opportunity to meet him.

“He seems like a really nice guy. He seems like he’s going to be good and take into account students’ emotions,” said Maxine Babinet ‘24.

Roach stressed the importance of considering students’ feelings along with their education.

“I want to create opportunity by offering experiences, but also by creating an environment where people are comfortable to come and take advantage of those experiences,” said Roach.

Roach’s approach towards mental health has helped students warm up to him, and made them excited for his presence at Jones.

“He seems like he’s going to care a lot about his actions and his students. He seems really passionate about theater,” said Babinet. “I’m excited for him and to get to know him better.”

Powers expressed high hopes for the future of the drama department with their new addition. 

“[Roach] brings a lot to the table in terms of his skills, experience, and perspective,” said Powers. “I’m hoping to see that he will be able to work collaboratively with the other performing arts teachers.”

Collaboration will give the theater program a wider platform coming out of the pandemic.

“We would really like to get the theater program back out there where people see it and are familiar with it,” said Powers.

Roach recognized that not everyone who takes drama has a passion for theater and wants to accommodate those students. 

“I’m working on establishing what we cover in drama class to make it accessible,” said Roach. “[I want to] make drama something that has skills that support students wherever they chose to go in life.”