Patrick Owens, Mathematics

patrick-owens-282x300A self-described “math nerd” since high school, Patrick Owens brings affable enthusiasm to his Honors Statistics and Precalculus classes. Patrick came to Milton in 2014 as a fellow in the Penn Residency Master’s in Teaching program, earning his degree from the University of Pennsylvania while teaching under the guidance of a Milton faculty mentor and immersing himself in boarding school life. This school year, with his degree completed, Patrick joined the math department as a full-time faculty member.

“My favorite class to teach is Honors Stats,” says Patrick. “In the spring, the students do a cumulative project, in which they go through all the different stages they’ve learned of the statistical process. They ask a question they want to explore; collect and analyze their data; and then conduct a statistical test to draw a conclusion, often about Milton students’ habits. They have taken on some cool projects. I’ve had students study sleep time, hours spent doing homework, levels of stress, and the effects of caffeine.”

Patrick grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, and attended a private grade 6–12 school where his desire to teach was fostered. He double majored in math and psychology at Georgetown University; as an upperclassman he was a teaching assistant in math courses. After graduating, Patrick went straight into the Penn Master’s program.

“At first, my teaching was very lecture-based, and I didn’t rely on many hands-on activities. I’m now more focused on having students learn by doing, rather than by listening. From the Penn program, I discovered lots of useful classroom activities to engage students in different ways.”

Patrick—well-liked and respected among Milton students and adults—lives in Goodwin House and is an advisor to Class III students there. He coaches intramural tennis in the fall, JV girls’ basketball each winter, and boys’ freshman tennis in the spring.

“Milton students are so fun, and curious about the world,” says Patrick. “They’re very intelligent and willing to take risks. They’re also incredibly thoughtful, and that has surprised me the most. Kids go above and beyond to thank teachers and show their appreciation, which means a lot to me.”