2016 Blackboard Award Honoree: Ann Marie Hourigan

Ann Marie Hourigan accepts her Blackboard Award; photo by Karen Haberberg

Editor’s note: To read profiles of all 2016 Blackboard Awards honorees, click HERE!

Ann Marie Hourigan
Ages 3-14, Science
The British International School of New York

Tell us about some of the special joys and challenges you’ve experienced as a teacher.

I have been fortunate enough to teach students from ages 3-19 in a variety of settings in Ireland and London before moving to Manhattan in 2013. Embracing individuals from different countries, cultures, and languages is so insightful and has added new dimensions to my experience as a teacher in so many ways.

Please share a special project or achievement that you are particularly proud of from this year.

The implementation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) into the curriculum in middle school commenced when I arrived in New York from London in 2013… Passion is palpable as students tap into their inner creativity, using interdisciplinary skills. Student inquiries are showcased every February for the school community in the STEM Fair.

Ann Marie Hourigan with her students on a trip to Arizona

Over the course of your career, what do you consider your greatest accomplishments?

One of my favorite accomplishments is securing the role as Head of Science at the British International School of New York in 2013. It was a highly competitive and rigorous process applying to, not just New York, but to the British School in New York. I will always remember the very moment when the position was confirmed to me in London in 2013 and, of course, the endless excitement that followed. When people talk about their dream job, it always sounds like such a cliché, but this really is.

What keeps you motivated and committed to being a dedicated and hard-working educator?

Creativity and open-ended inquiry, establishing links with real world scenarios, and taking student learning out of the classroom into metropolises such as New York or overseas trips to London or to the wild Canyonlands of Arizona enhances outcomes for students beyond measure. Identifying and organizing these excursions and opportunities with strong multi-curriculum links inspires and motivates me as an educator.