Bill Daly, Albemarle High School
Where were you born (and raised, if different)?
I was born on Long Island and grew up in Smithtown, NY.
When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?
I initially came to Charlottesville to study engineering at UVA. I left UVA after 2 years however I fell in love with the area and stayed in Charlottesville. After several years I returned to UVA to earn my BA in Mathematics and a Master of Teaching.
What neighborhood do you live in now?
I live at Lake Monticello in Fluvanna County and have lived there for the past 22 years.
Family (spouse, kids, etc.)?
My wife Susan and I have 3 children, Ashleigh, Patrick and Ryan as well as 2 grandchildren, Haedyn and Brielle.
What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?
I graduated from UVA in 1991, the same year Susan and I married.
What is your favorite part of classroom teaching?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one thing. Any time students have an “Ah-ha” moment; when they’ve been working hard to understand something and suddenly make that connection and their faces light up. Or when students are excited and making connections and asking questions that anticipate the next phase of a unit. Just being able to watch students grow and get to know them is great; there are so many terrific young people we get to work with.
What is your favorite example of a rewarding experience you’ve had in the field of education?
The first thing that comes to mind is a student, who had always struggled with math, came to me at the end of the year and thanked me for working with him and helping him succeed. There are many students who are genuinely thankful for what we do and it is always rewarding when they let us know.
Why did you choose to teach?
After leaving Engineering school I worked as a cook for several years and I enjoyed teaching teenagers to work in restaurants. I had always enjoyed mathematics so after some soul searching I decided to become a math teacher.
If you had to pick one, what do you think is the single most important issue facing the public schools today?
This is a difficult question because there are so many issues; if I had to pick one it would be time. There is so much we, as educators, need to do in order to be effective and so little time to do it. In the digital age students and teachers have a lot of advantages our predecessors did not have. For example it is much easier to communicate with parents or collaborate with colleagues electronically and we have a variety of technologies that enhance instruction and learning which are all great things. At the same time all of this requires more time outside of class to maintain or learn which in turn takes away from the time needed to prepare for instructional time. It’s exciting having these things but challenging to find the time to use them well.
What do you do outside of work hours – hobbies, etc.?
I have a lot of hobbies, I enjoy soccer—both playing and watching although I haven’t been able to play in a few years. I do a lot of wood-working and gardening, I’ve been trying to learn to play the guitar (although it’s been slow going), and I like outdoor activities like kayaking and camping.