Paige Reed teaches biology, chemistry, physiology and health at Northwest Yeshiva High School on Mercer Island. Courtesy photo

Paige Reed teaches biology, chemistry, physiology and health at Northwest Yeshiva High School on Mercer Island. Courtesy photo

Reed discusses the science of teaching success

She’s thriving at Northwest Yeshiva High School.

Paige Reed aims to erase the intimidation factor from science for her students at Northwest Yeshiva High School (NYHS) on Mercer Island.

Armed with a biology degree from the University of Washington, Reed stepped onto the NYHS campus in January of 2020 in a support science role and is now teaching biology, chemistry, physiology and health to ninth-through-12th-graders. She developed an affinity for biology and physiology at UW, and admitted that teaching chemistry was a bit scary at first, but it’s growing on her.

“I know that a lot of students say the blanket phrase, ‘I’m bad at science,’ when there’s just so much that goes into it. I hope that they are less intimidated and more confident by the end and that they go out and find knowledge when they’re not forced to sit in my class,” said the humorous instructor with a laugh. “So I guess I just want everyone to be a nerd like me with some added self confidence.”

Reed was attracted to NYHS — the only accredited Jewish high school to offer dual curriculum in the northwest — for its smaller class sizes and tight-knit community. Reed is not of the Jewish faith, and said she’s learning a lot along the way.

Greenhouses are new additions to the science curriculum and they’ll be used mostly by Reed’s freshmen biology students. Experiments with plants should be first out of the gate and then Reed hopes the greenhouses can be used by a gardening club and for other projects. Recently, students built planter boxes to reside in the plastic pop-up-tented greenhouses.

“We actually have an Instagram for the greenhouse. So I post on there all of our construction updates, and eventually it’ll be experiment updates,” Reed said. “I’m excited to get some of the other teachers collaborating once it’s firmly set up and easier to plan that kind of stuff.”

Hands-on learning is a big part of Reed’s teaching arsenal, as well as unleashing bad jokes to make class time even more interesting. Sometimes the humor works, sometimes it doesn’t, she said with a chuckle.

Reed is the recipient of heaps of positive feedback from parents and students, and she especially enjoys when she can help make the proverbial light bulb click on in students’ heads when they achieve success.

“I know that some parents have also told me that they appreciate their students being exposed to women and STEM, creating strong future female scientists, which is exactly what I want for them,” Reed said.

The Port Angeles-raised, self-proclaimed nerd figures it makes sense that she grew up to become a science teacher.

“I guess I’ve always just enjoyed telling people weird, fun facts, but now I get to do it for money,” she said.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

File photo
Non-profit sponsors study on how the pandemic impacted arts and culture in Puget Sound

The study helped identify challenges faced by residents and cultural organizations in Washington

t
CyberCycling their way to the Winter Olympics

Local Shores residents participate in virtual national challenge.

t
Challenge Success team members discuss the college admissions process

‘How you go matters more than where you go.’

File photo
WA lawmakers propose making companies responsible for recycling improvements

SB 5697 would compel industries to report data, invest in infrastructure, meet standards.

Governor Jay Inslee. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee: Officials’ lies about election results should be crime

Governor wants lawmakers to pass legislation making it a gross misdemeanor.

t
Pair of school levy renewals are on the special election ballot

Renewals need a simple majority to pass in Feb. 8 election.

t
Community conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion set for Feb. 2

The Mercer Island High School Black Student Union will present the community… Continue reading

Most Read