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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Tracing the Track to Teacherhood

How Trinity teachers found their calling
During his four years as a lawyer, Newman was a medical malpractice defense attorney.

A common misconception about teachers by students is that they know from the beginning that they want to go to college, get a degree in education, and ultimately become a teacher, but this is simply not true. Some teachers start off taking care of rhinos, while some are defending pharmaceutical companies in the courtroom. According to science teacher Brandon McDermed, working at the zoo and in a classroom aren’t totally different.

“There’s a lot of similarities,” McDermed said. “I always make the joke that I’m still herding small things into areas and making sure that they’re fed and taken care of and cleaning up after them.”   

Prior to coming to Trinity, Brandon McDermed was a zoologist. He said he always had a passion for helping animals even at a young age.

“I was one of those kids that was constantly rescuing baby birds falling out of trees, bringing home tadpoles, trying to care for them,” McDermed said.

McDermed’s passion for animals remained strong throughout high school and college. Just as he planned, he became a zoologist and took the opportunity to do what he was passionate about. McDermed first worked at the Miami Metro Zoo for four years, and then Disney’s Animal Kingdom for 11 years. 

The reason McDermed moved from Disney to Trinity is simple, family. When Animal Kingdom added the Avatar attraction, it altered the hours of the parks because of the bioluminescence effects. Due to this change in hours of operation, McDermed spent less time with his family. He knew he needed a change in professions, so after consulting with his wife they came to the conclusion teaching would be a great fit for him. 

Eric Schneider is a mathematics teacher as well as a ‘05 Trinity Prep Alumnus. After graduating from college at Sewanee University in Tennessee, Schneider was unsure of where he was going to go professionally.

“I was very uncertain of what I wanted to be,” Schneider said. “And then out of college, still uncertain. And then I got my first coaching job. And I realized that I love doing that. So I left my financial analyst job to go to graduate school to get a degree in education. And then [I] started coaching, realized I enjoyed high school, and wanted to get into teaching, and I’ve loved it ever since.” 

Schneider’s first teaching experience was at the college level at Borussia University in Kentucky, teaching a management class on sports facilities. Afterwards, Schneider moved to the high school level at Greenbrier high school in Tennessee.

“​​Coming to Trinity was actually a really hard decision,” Schneider said. “I loved the previous school I was working at in Tennessee. It was very hard to leave them but my sister and her husband had recently moved back to Orlando. And they had just had a baby so I became an uncle. And the timing just worked out really nicely for me to be able to get back to living closer to my family.” 

Christopher Newman is a fellow (part-time teacher,) here, but before teaching he was an attorney working in the field of medical malpractice, so he would defend the pharmacies as companies if they were sued. 

After being an attorney for four years, Newman realized he was not fulfilled with his job, so he took some time to reflect and switched professions, real estate. After another four years, this time as a real estate agent, Newman took time to reflect and plan for his future. 

“I thought very carefully and intentionally about my strengths in particular, the things I like doing and the things I was good at,” Newman said. “You got to find something that you like doing, but something that you’re good at as well. And also something that is useful for society… And as I thought more and more about those, I kept thinking to myself, God, this looks like a teacher.”

Newman is now pursuing a full-time teaching contract, hoping to stay here at Trinity. His experience in a variety of jobs has allowed him to discern that it is okay to not find the profession right for you on your first try.  

“Don’t stress or worry about the fact that you may not know exactly what you want to do in life, it’s okay,” Newman said. “It’s okay to change. You might get it wrong.… And it’s okay to follow your heart and chase whatever is right for you.”

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About the Contributor
Jack Aaron, Fact Checking Editor
Jack Aaron is a sophomore entering his second year on staff. He is the fact-checking editor and writes for the Lifestyles Department. When he is not competing in speech and debate tournaments, he enjoys playing tennis and collecting watches in his free time. Contact at [email protected].

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