Teacher Kathy Savage inspires students


Clare McCoy

Teacher Kathy Savage helps her students learn the biotech material.

Joemi Cordonero, Reporter

When the biotechnology program started at Oviedo High School, Kathy Savage was just an AP Chemistry teacher. Savage didn’t expect the sudden calling, but once she started, she never looked back.

“I was bored out of my mind after teaching AP Chemistry for 10 years,” said Savage. “Biotechnology is so fun [and] so relevant. It changes so fast that you’re always trying to keep up with it.”

Today, she’s one of the two biotechnology teachers on campus, teaching Biotechnology Two and Three. Savage’s distinct way of impacting her students is through her warm personality. Many consider her to be a main factor when deciding to continue in the program.

Senior Jade Boozer is one of Savage’s dividends and took her class for two years.

“[Savage] treats all her students with care and you can tell she wants the very best for you,” said Boozer. “She’s always there for us when we need anything.”

Many students who were in or are still in her class find her class helpful, when it comes to sparking their interest in and expanding their knowledge on  the field. 

Junior Courtney Hellmich is a current third year biotechnology student and wants to continue her biotech career by working in a DNA lab.

“Her love for the subject has definitely made me love it too,” she said.

Savage makes learning science something worthwhile as well as fun. The class is not always labs and different intricate procedures, but she still makes the class as enjoyable as it can be for her students.

Martin, her axolotl, is a class mascot which makes the class a lot more interesting. Though he’s a cute pet, he exemplifies how biotechnology lessons apply to reality.

“Martin is genetically modified to express the green fluorescent protein which means he glows green under UV light,” said Savage. “Our Martin has direct applications to many of the topics we discuss in biotechnology from genetic modification to fluorescence.”

Savage has been known for also being fun in class, regardless of its demanding nature.

“She throws a party for her axolotl every year,” said Hellmich. “She brings in food and then gives a little PowerPoint about axolotls and the gene that makes them glow.”

After 29 years, Savage has found her passion: teaching students the ever growing world of biotechnology.

“Teaching has allowed me to follow my passion, to be creative, and to engage with young, energetic people,” said Savage. “Hopefully, some of my own passion and enthusiasm for science rubs off on a few of them here and there. That is immortality to me.”