Kathleen O’Connor: Math


Math teacher Kathleen O’Connor. Credit: Jake Davidson/Chronicle

Jake Davidson

Los Angeles native Kathleen O’Connor became a member of the upper school math department, teaching Algebra II and Advanced Placement Computer Science after three years of teaching experience in mathematics.
O’Connor has always been interested in mathematics, earning degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles and California State University, Northridge.
“Everything just kind of falls into place and makes sense. When you solve a really tough problem, you can feel really proud about it,” O’Connor said.
This love for math has been ingrained in O’Connor for a long time, she said.
“Math I’ve always liked, ever since I was in elementary school,” O’Connor said. “My dad used to buy me these workbooks and teach me math ahead of what I was learning in school. He made it fun for me, and so I’ve always kind of liked it since then.”
While working towards her master’s, she taught full-time at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, California. She has also been involved in outreach activities sponsored by UCLA’s Joint Mathematics Education Program.O’Connor says that while teaching in the Los Angeles Unified School District has been fulfilling, Harvard-Westlake’s rigorous academics allured her.
“I knew about Harvard-Westlake’s reputation as a really good academic institution,” O’Connor said.