In the Spotlight

New theater teacher finds home at OHS


Photo Submitted by Isabelle Zurcher

Teacher Isabelle Zurcher smiles for the camera at OHS. “I think high school theater is one of the coolest things in the world,” Zurcher said. Theater is a passion of both Zurcher and her father, who is an actor.

Isabelle Zurcher, former OHS student and brand new theater teacher, has quite a bit on her plate. Juggling the school plays and dealing with classes, she’s in for a jam-packed year. Even so, she’s managed to find a place to call home here at OHS.

“I kind of always wanted to be a teacher,” Zurcher said, “and I went to high school here and was in the theater program, and when I realized that teaching theater was an option, I decided that that was what I wanted to do.”

Zurcher has a specific reason for why she wanted to pursue theater specifically.

“Theater in high school had such a huge impact on me,” Zurcher said. “It really formulated who I was as a person and helped me grow a lot, and I wanted to be able to give that experience to other students.”

Because of her own experiences with theater, Zurcher is dedicated to bringing that experience to her own students, with whom she’s been able to build relationships. 

“I’ve built some really cool connections with a lot of different kids,” Zurcher said. “Whether it’s in classes or the after school program, seeing them start to come out of their shells and find a place in here has been really awesome to witness.”

However, Zurcher is already experiencing challenges in the new space she finds herself in.

“We’re definitely seeing a lack of problem-solving and work ethic with a chunk of kids,” Zurcher said. “We have a lot of kids who have a hard time when we put harsh expectations on them, so that’s definitely a learning curve. But already, I’m starting to see the fruit of that labor and how things are slowly starting to change.”

Being someone who graduated high school in 2018, Zurcher has many more advantages compared to potential new hires.

“I think being the ‘young’ teacher helps, just because it hasn’t been too long since I’ve been in your position, so I understand what’s going on and what’s happening, what you’re thinking about and things like that,” Zurcher said. “That won’t last forever, so I’m cherishing those moments while I’ve got them.”

Even with advantages, being a teacher can be challenging. Despite that, Zurcher has found her love for being a teacher at OHS.

“There’s been challenges. It is a difficult career to go into. There are so many things that are happening, but I tell people that this is my dream job,” Zurcher said. “I wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else, I wouldn’t wanna do anything else. If you asked me, ‘Money aside, what would you wanna do for the rest of your life?’–This. Forever.”