Teacher Talk, Vol. 3: A Peek into the world of Mrs. Bagnell!


Eve A. '26

Mrs. Bagnell has had quite an impact on the OLSH community- from being Social Studies Department Chair to being every freshman’s favorite World Geography teacher. I sat down with her in April to discuss her time here.


What do you remember about your first day at OLSH?

“I remember the people- how friendly they were. When I came in, it was half-way through the year. I started in December, so I was a little nervous. Everyone was so welcoming when I first started.”

What is your favorite memory at OLSH so far?

“I remember the first time I participated in the Faculty v. Student Basketball game. I played because I played basketball in high school. I just remember getting fouled and falling on the ground! But I made my two foul shots. I hadn’t played in 20-25 years so there was a lot of pressure on me. This isn’t a favorite memory but the most memorable. I haven’t played since!”

Besides 2020, what has been the most memorable year?

“This year (2022-23) is I think is memorable because we’re back to normal. We really missed everything. We missed being together, the intramurals, having mass together, and having lunch together. So much was different. I think we’re finally coming together and putting the pandemic behind us.”

What inspired you to become a teacher?

“That’s an easy one. It runs in the family. My grandfather was a history teacher, my father was a history teacher, my sister is a reading specialist, and my mom was a teacher aid. When I went to school, I actually went for business and I just couldn’t get the bug out of me. Finally, I decided that I was going to get my teaching certificate. My father, being a history teacher, every summer in our camper he would take us to historical sites. So every summer I went to all the battle fields, Jamestown, St. Augustine- you name it. I got to see it and not just hear about it. Jamestown is my favorite place we went to in our camper. I also really remember drinking from the Fountain of Youth at St. Augustine.”

What about your class, do you think, makes it so easy for students to connect with you?

“I try to make it fun. The kids seem to think that it’s fun. I try to relate it to other events in history. I like putting trivia in here or there. I feel it is just as important as science or math to know where you came from because it’s such a big part of where we will go in the future, if we don’t learn from history.”

What are some surprising things people might not know about you?

“I graduated from Juanita College in business. I did play basketball. I think the most surprising thing  is that in 1986, my high school team won the states in Hershey, PA. So I have a medal, and we were #1 in the country ranked by USA Today. I remember my hometown in Altoona had a big parade for us. It was a really big deal.”


“The number one reason would probably be the size. I had over 900 kids in my graduating class. That’s probably why I was drawn to a smaller college where my graduating class was about a hundred. I think that was just a fit for me. I love the Felician Sisters and the Felician Core Values. I think at the time when I switched my career from business to education it was just the right fit.”

Do you get emotional watching students graduate?

“I find the older I get the more emotional I get with everything. I think I get more emotional watching them do their Senior Projects because I’m lucky enough that I have every single one of them as a freshman. I’m lucky enough that I get to see them grow, and when they do their senior projects there are always one or two that I’m just crying. When they’re thanking their teachers, and talk about how they’ve transformed. I can see where they were as freshman and I get to visually see how they grow. It is such an experience. But you do touch so many kids and you want them to succeed. To be able to touch them and hope they remember the good memories of OLSH and World Geo and this family atmosphere.”

What is your favorite thing to teach in your curriculum?

“I actually don’t teach my favorite thing. I miss history. That’s why I love teaching the United States because, if you remember, I threw in a lot of history, government, etc. Just because I love it and it’s something, growing up and camping and going to all the places I’ve been to, I love teaching American history. That’s why I try my best to put history into geography. Geography has grown on me, though. I didn’t like it at first. It’s grown on me because I’ve been changing and adding things to it.”

What is the funniest thing to happen in class to date?

“Probably just me laughing at myself. I try to make jokes, some of the kids get it, some of the kids don’t. I try to incorporate a little humor, and a lot of trivial things. I think trying to get on the kids’ level. I think I’m the funniest when I have no idea about social media and I have to ask the kids what things mean or what a symbol means or if I’m doing this right! I think my ignorance on social media is hilarious. My kids make fun of me for it. My home room class will tell you I love to sing Abba. When Dancing Queen comes on I really embarrass myself. My homeroom thinks I’m nuts, but I have a good time.”

How do you think you’ve changed as a teacher since you’ve started teaching?

“I think as I’ve grown through teaching I’ve become more flexible than I used to be. I think I try to add a little more every year with activities. Every year I try to do something new so it’s not so mundane every year. And, to make it more interesting for the kids.”

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

“Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun in life! Always make time for yourself and do what you enjoy doing. Don’t worry about what others think. Be kind and be good to others.”

What do you do over summer break?

“I love to travel, and I’m hoping to travel more. My husband’s job takes him to a lot of places and I’m hoping in the future I’ll be able to travel more with him. He goes to Prague and the Czech Republic a lot. I want to go to lots of places on the West Coast I haven’t gotten to yet. I have lots on my bucket list that I want to get to. I’m a beach person. If there’s an ocean, I’m there with a book.”


After this, we played a speed round!

Favorite color?


Favorite song?

“’Dancing Queen’ by Abba.”

Favorite place?

“The beach! Right now, it’s Aruba. I’ve been there 3 times.”

Favorite band or singer?

“I love the 70’s and 80’s. I love Billy Joel. My husband told me he would take me to Madison Square Garden to see Billy Joel so I’m going to take him up on that.”

Favorite movie?

“I’m a Star Wars person because I remember my father taking me to my first drive in to see Star Wars in 1976. We would go see all of the Star Wars movies together. It has to be the old Star Wars- I’m not really into the newer ones.”

Favorite TV show?

“Comedies. I love The Big Bang Theory, Cheers, That Show, Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days... I loved the older shows growing up. I love Carol Burnett and her skits. I’m old.”

Favorite animal?

“Dogs. I grew up with dogs. Right now I have a Shih Tzu named Luigi.”

Favorite memory?

“Watching my kids grow up. I love my family. I remember going to see my daughter at her preschool play and her softball games. I remember my son’s soccer games and I remember how proud I was when he got the lead role in the musical Drowsy Chaperone. Today my daughter is a nurse and my son works at the University of Pittsburgh doing Alzheimer’s research. I’m so proud of them.”

Favorite food?

“Anything Italian. My grandmother made homemade sauce. She had a garden in the backyard and she would pick the tomatoes and I remember canning them and seeing these big pots of pasta on her stove. I miss her food so much!”

Favorite sport?

“Basketball because I started in 4th grade and played through college. That’s probably why I have bad hips now!”

Favorite restaurant?

“It has to be Italian. One that I like is Cucina Vitale. There is one called Alberlone in Greensburg that I like.”

Favorite student?

“How can I just have one when I love them all?! I consider the students my kids and I love each and every one of them because they are all different. I wouldn’t trade a thing about them!”

Thank you for reading Teacher Talk Vol. 3! Please stay tuned for the next one! Thank you Mrs. Bagnell for sitting down with me and giving such great answers. See you next time!