Mrs. Doodigian is a beloved science teacher at our very own Oakland Mills High School; however, there’s so much more to know about her outside of teaching. For instance, did you know that in one summer she managed to cycle around 1000 miles with her husband? Mrs. Doodigian manages to spend her time doing the things she loves while also being very involved both at OM and in her community, making her a very busy woman!
Her journey at OM began three years ago after having worked at other Howard County schools for 13 years. Mrs. Doodigian lives in the Columbia area, so it isn’t unusual for her to see students at her church or at local stores. Because of this, she feels “very connected” to our community. Connectedness seemed to be an important part of what drew her to Oakland Mills in the first place.
At Oakland Mills, she teaches Earth and Space Systems Science, GT Biology, and AP Environmental Science. She volunteers at our school’s food pantry and also acts as a facilitator for clubs like Science Olympiad and the Environmental Club, which she has managed to help keep active even during the pandemic! Mrs. Doodigian helped Ms. Strozyk at the Howard County Conservancy with initiating the Watershed program that many students in Howard County may be familiar with. 13 schools in the county all take part in this opportunity, and it is Howard County’s largest environmental education program. As part of this program, 9th-grade students in Earth Science and Biology GT are taken to local streams and schoolyards to engage in data collection while also learning about different policies. The program is dedicated to helping students with environmental literacy. She wanted students to feel “connected with environmental things at school.”
Aside from her work at hOMe, she is involved at her church where she helps coordinate the teen youth choir. She also represents her church and participates with Courageous Conversations, a group dedicated to having difficult discussions about race and religion. Having these difficult conversations is important to Mrs. Doodigian. She made the point to bring up environmental racism, a topic she believes is extremely important to talk about. She discussed how communities of color are disproportionately affected by environmental issues like pollution. With her church, she also volunteers with the Appalachia Service Project (ASP), building homes for people in need in Central Appalachia. Over 25 communities are served each year by ASP.
During her spare time, she enjoys cooking, playing her guitar and piano, gardening, and, as indicated before, cycling, “I have cycled across New York State on the Erie Canal. On another trip, we went from Cincinnati to Cleveland, Ohio on rail trails. And we have cycled the entire Great Allegheny Passage and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trails from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.” Her dream is to eventually cycle across the United States.
Mrs. Doodigian obviously loves cycling but she also enjoys learning about other people, religions, and races; she has even read the Quran out of curiosity demonstrating her love of learning about others. Speaking of learning, she is currently working towards getting certified as a Master Naturalist through the University of Maryland. She wanted to pursue this certification to be able to obtain more information and knowledge to bring to the table for the Watershed program and her AP Environmental Science class.
Mrs. Doodigian is someone that really cares about her students. She feels that one of the hardest things about her job as a teacher is to see her students struggle and be unhappy, and she doesn’t like to see her students fail. On the other hand, she loves being able to make class enjoyable for her students and she is “energized” by her students’ curiosity. Even with her busy school schedule, she manages to do a lot of volunteer work and community service outside of school, further showing her love for the OM community. Mrs. Doodigian’s obvious passion and enthusiasm for her work make her someone who is very easy to talk to, and she always encourages her students to reach out if they ever need anything. She loves her students, she loves her work, she loves her community, and we are very fortunate that she ended up with us at OM.