Heather Audesirk will take over teaching Jim Brink’s four chemistry classes during the spring semester Jan. 21. She is currently working to earn her teaching credential from Azusa Pacific and has been a tutor and teacher for Kaplan SAT Prep.
Brink died Nov. 12 in an auto accident.
Audesirk received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry with distinction from Harvey Mudd College.
She was also a chemistry tutor in the Academic Excellence program and received an American Chemical Society Analytical Award.
She earned her master’s degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, where she decided she wanted to pursue teaching.
“Teaching has been what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember, so all the time I’ve spent in school has given me the opportunity to observe great teachers and to be inspired by great teachers,” Audesirk said.
Audesirk will shadow all four classes for two weeks prior to taking over teaching. She said that shadowing has introduced her to new teaching perspectives.
“It’s been really fun to see the students,” Audesirk said. “People aren’t afraid to make jokes, and it just seems like a fun atmosphere.”
Although she is slightly intimidated by joining the science department in the middle of the year, Audesirk said that the well-organized course and helpful chemistry team is making her transition smooth.
“I would love to inspire other women in science so that we can let people know that we can do it,” Audesirk said.
Outside of teaching, Audesirk sang in the Pasadena Master Chorale and said that she enjoys cooking, hiking and riding her two horses in Golden, Colorado.
Upper School Science Department Head Larry Axelrod is confident that Audesirk will transition smoothly into her new school.
“She interviewed well, came highly recommended and everyone really likes her,” Axelrod said. “She is excited to start teaching, energetic and has a very strong background in chemistry.”