Teacher Spotlight – Mrs. Farina

Hailey Quinn


     Mrs. Farina teaches Biology at HAHS. She completed her Master’s degree in secondary education after student teaching in the Fall of 2010. After getting her degree, she spent several semesters as a substitute covering maternity leaves for teachers at Exeter High School, Governor Mifflin High School, Lehigh Valley Academy, and Kutztown High School, before starting at Hamburg in February of 2014. 

     Mrs. Farina states, “I always knew that I wanted to work with kids, but actually started college as a pre-med major with the intention of becoming a pediatrician.” However, she adds that her plans changed when she realized that while the science/medicine was fascinating to her, the very human aspects (i.e. having to tell patients bad news and more so inform their parents) was not something that she felt she could do long term. 

     Mrs. Farina says, “My mom was a daycare teacher, and I always looked up to her and admired her for how hard she worked to ensure her students felt safe, encouraged, and loved,” so when she was approached during her freshman year of college to explore the school’s 5-year Master’s program in which she would complete course work for both her bachelor’s degree in biology and her masters degree in education simultaneously, she accepted. She states, “After doing some initial shadowing and getting to see students excited to make connections in their science courses, I realized that this was the place I was supposed to be.”

     Mrs. Farina’s favorite part about teaching is “being able to share my excitement about different biology topics (understanding how cancer works, epigenetics, infectious diseases, etc.) with my students and having them gain an interest in a topic that might not have ever crossed their mind before.” Her least favorite part about teaching is all the paperwork stating, “I would think is probably a similar feeling among many teachers.  Of course, the grading I definitely do to myself, but I do see value in my students getting recognized for doing all the hard work I ask of them.” 

     Cole McLaughlin, a sophomore who had Mrs. Farina for Honors Biology in his freshman year states, “I think Mrs. Farina was a good teacher because she made sure that we understood the topics she would be teaching. She also had labs that helped the class learn the material better.” 

     Amelia Gassert, a sophomore who had Mrs. Farina for Honors Biology in her freshman year and works as a lab assistant for her says, “I enjoyed Mrs. Farina’s class last year. My favorite part was when we got to do labs, because they would always help me understand what we were doing more than just taking notes or reading about it.”

     Overall, Mrs. Farina is a teacher who tries to make learning more than just reading from a book. She really cares about her students and their understanding of topics in the classroom.