From IST Student to IST Teacher: Kirsten Rooney Returns Home

Kirsten with her baby daughter


After an extraordinary experience as a student at IST, Ms. Kirsten Rooney knew she wanted to come back to our school once she completed post-secondary.

She spent countless hours at the school - since her parents were part of the school's faculty - enjoying the facilities, the atmosphere and the extra-curricular activities including swimming, drama and the orchestra. 

She joined the IST alumni community in 1997 and after graduation, she felt completely prepared for university.

“[The] IB was great preparation for university,” Ms. Kristen said outlining how the time management skills she attained while completing all module essays within the deadlines, while also balancing other projects and activities, helped prepare her for what she would face outside of our school.

Ms. Kristen also described the open-minded atmosphere she witnessed in our community as being monumental in making her who she is today.

“I also really appreciate growing up with an open mind and having such diversely, rich experiences and people in my life,” Ms. Kristen said. 

Ms. Kristen’s pride is mirrored in the IST alumni association. Want to re-connect with fellow IST alumni? Click here.  Kirsten sitting in a boat on the water

She attended The University of Wales and then continued her studies online once she was married and had children. 

“I first studied Criminology, Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies and wanted to work with children and human rights,” Ms. Kristen said.

After working in the Human Rights field in Tanzania for some time, she knew in her heart teaching was actually what she was meant to be doing. “I realized that it was what made me happiest, and so I studied again to become a teacher.”

After earning a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Early Years, Ms. Kristen knew exactly where she wanted to work: the school that had made her who she is today.

“Working at IST is very exciting and something I have wanted for a while. I always knew it to be a great school and to now be part of the faculty means so much to me.”

When she found out she had the job as a full-time teacher in Kindergarten, she was ecstatic. “I had already met many teachers from subbing, and to then know I would be part of their team was very exciting.”

Now that Ms. Kristen is working in the cKirsten as a child standing beside her brotherareer that makes her happiest, she notices a difference in her everyday life.

“It’s great, it feels so natural and like it’s supposed to be,” Ms. Kristen said. “I feel at home at IST.”

And the fact that it’s the school she grew up in makes it even more rewarding. “Everything is still so familiar and where I always felt safe as a child. And now I am making it a safe and fun place for all the kids. That’s quite amazing. Reminds me of my family a lot and how I grew up.”

When asked what her favourite part of teaching is, Ms. Kristen responded with ease.

“The kids,” Ms. Kristen said. “Kids make me happy, their great minds and ideas and how they love to explore and challenge themselves.”

Click here to discover other stories from IST alumni.