Theresa Boyle Ri'80
If experience is truly life's greatest teacher, then Theresa Boyle should be fully prepared for guiding a classroom of students. This past spring, Ms. Boyle added a master's degree in education to her already impressive résumé during LIU Riverhead's first commencement ceremony held on May 8.
A graduate of Stanford University who grew up in Miller Place, N.Y., Ms. Boyle is a single mom raising a son and a daughter. She has worked as an administrative assistant for a Christian missionary in Germany and Spain, as a branch manager for Oracle in Silicon Valley and as a director of sales for three different corporations. She also owned a charter fishing business in Montauk for more than five years and currently is the owner of Manor Hill Vineyards in Cutchogue.
A career in education was never part of her life's plan until her daughter entered kindergarten. It was then that Ms. Boyle signed up to work as a substitute teacher in the Mattituck-Cutchogue school district, giving her the opportunity to be closer to the little girl. The vice principal took one look at her unusual résumé and asked if they could meet.
"I had so much life experience, she wanted to know if I had ever considered teaching full time," Ms. Boyle explained. "Honestly, it was never on the radar, but I decided to take some classes and see if it was the right fit."
A lifelong student who loves learning, she enrolled at the LIU's Southampton Graduate Campus and transferred to Riverhead in 2006. It was there that her passion for teaching truly was ignited. "I loved it," she said. "Teaching is perfect for me. It makes me a better mom. I wish every mom could teach."
When school is not in session, Ms. Boyle tends to her grapes, supplying Merlot and Chardonnay under the Manor Hill Vineyards and Cutchogue Cellars brands to Olde Vine Golf Club in Riverhead and to top restaurants and hotels in Manhattan, including the Four Seasons and The Plaza.
"I love how my life has turned out," she said. "I would never have guessed that this is the path I would take, but I wouldn't change a thing."