Four Questions with Megan Labbate

Ms. Megan Labbate is a science instructor at Emma Willard School. Ms. Labbate joined the community in 2015, having spent the first three years of her teaching career in an art and design-based charter school in Michigan. We asked her four questions about her experience at Emma.
#1 — What brought you to Emma Willard School?

Before Emma Willard, I was working at a charter school in Detroit, MI. I didn't love the public school world because I felt tied to standardized testing and was looking for a change. My parents suggested I look at Emma Willard and I was shocked to find an open position for a science instructor so late into the hiring process. I knew Emma Willard had a good reputation and remembered driving through campus with my grandmother when I would visit Troy as a little girl. My great aunts both graduated from Emma Willard so it was almost karmic to come and teach here. One of my great aunts used her Emma Willard education to become a chemistry teacher and now I'm a chemistry teacher at her alma mater.

#2 — What is a typical day-in-the-life at Emma like for you?

I live off-campus so if I don't have an early meeting, my day starts by walking my dog Ollie before commuting to school. It's a really nice way to start the morning and think about my day ahead. Currently, I am teaching two chemistry classes in the semester schedule. Each day in my week feels pretty different based on when my classes are and what other meetings or events I have (one-on-one meetings with advisees, Emma Green club meeting, department chair meeting, attending Morning Reports, etc.), but I like the variety.

There are a number of us from the science department who always eat lunch together and it's nice to take that time and talk about our days and other happenings in our lives. If the weather is nice, I'll stay on campus after the end of the school day to go for a run with my colleagues. We recently formed an informal running club and it's been a blast to work out with so many different people.

#3 — What is one thing about teaching science at Emma Willard that would surprise people?

One of the things I love most about the science department is how many teachers are women. In science, women are significantly underrepresented, so it makes me really proud to know that a number of students will have at least one or more female teachers during their time at Emma. It's important for our students to be able to see themselves represented in this field.
This may not surprise our students, but the science department is filled with a lot of nerds. We are very passionate about the subjects we teach and still get excited to complete various labs even though we've done them for years. I could react magnesium every week and never tire of that experiment. We are also really avid readers and are constantly trying to bring new knowledge about our disciplines into our classes. I have a separate science "to be read list" for my book queue.

#4 — What is your favorite space or place on Emma's campus?

I love being on inner campus at sunset. The colors of the sky through Lyon-Remington's windows can take your breath away!
    • Megan Labbate holds the Sara Lee Schupf Family Chair in Curriculum Excellence And Innovation

    • Ms. Labbate and fellow Science Instructor Alex Grimm, PhD, participate in the filming of a reenactment of Eunice Newton Foote's science experiment (Eunice attended Troy Female Seminary - now Emma Willard School - from 1836 to 1838 and was a pioneer of climate change research in the 1800s)

    • Ms. Labbate and Gemma Halfi prepare to take students to a climate strike to raise awareness about climate change

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Our Mission

Honoring its founder’s vision, Emma Willard School proudly fosters in each young woman a love of learning, the habits of an intellectual life, and the character, moral strength, and qualities of leadership to serve and shape her world.
285 Pawling Avenue, Troy, NY 12180 | P: 518.833.1300 F: 518.833.1815

Welcome to Emma Willard School, a private day and boarding high school for girls in Troy, NY, and a leader in girls' education for over 200 years. 

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