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Mom to Two, Vineyard Owner Graduates to New Career in Teaching with Master’s Degree from LIU Riverhead


Morgan Lyle,Assistant Director of Public Relations
LIU Riverhead

Riverhead, N.Y. - If experience is truly life's greatest teacher, then Theresa Boyle should have a distinct advantage guiding a classroom of students. Already in possession of a diverse resume, Boyle will graduate with a master's degree in education when Long Island University at Riverhead celebrates its first commencement on May 8, 2008.

A graduate of Stanford University who grew up in Miller Place, the single mom of a son and daughter has worked as an administrative assistant for a Christian missionary in Germany and Spain, as a branch manager at Oracle in Silicon Valley, and as a director of sales for three different corporations. She owned a charter fishing business in Montauk for more than five years and currently is the owner of Manor Hill Vineyards in Cutchogue.

Despite her myriad careers, teaching was never in her life's plan. The path to education began when her daughter started kindergarten. Boyle signed up to work as a substitute teacher in the Mattituck-Cutchogue school district, giving her the opportunity to work at the school and be closer to her daughter. The vice principal took one look at Boyle's unusual resume and called her for a meeting.

"I had so much life experience, she wanted to know if I had ever considered teaching. Honestly, it was never on the radar. I figured let me take classes and see if I like it."

A lifelong student who says she can never get enough school, Boyle enrolled at the Southampton Graduate Campus of Long Island University and transferred to Riverhead in 2006. A spark was lit.

"I loved it," she said. "Teaching is perfect for me. It makes me a better mom. I wish every mom could get a teaching degree."

When school is not in session, Boyle tends to her grapes, providing Merlot and Chardonnay under the Manor Hill Vineyards and Cutchogue Cellars brands to Olde Vine Golf Club in Riverhead and top restaurants and hotels in Manhattan, including the Four Seasons and the Plaza.

Currently interviewing for a position for the fall, Boyle has worked as a leave replacement at Southold High School as a Spanish teacher and at Cutchogue East Elementary. She will be qualified to teach elementary education, art for grades K-12 and biology and Italian for grades 7-12. She is completing her certification in Spanish.

"I love how my life has turned out," she said. "I'm not sure I would have picked any other path."

The graduating class includes 43 students who will be awarded master's degree in Childhood Education, Literacy Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities Education, including three who began their studies at Long Island University at Riverhead in 2006, and 22 who transferred from the University's former Southampton Graduate Campus. Thirty-eight students will receive advanced certificates from the Homeland Security Management Institute, and five will earn master's degrees in Homeland Security. The M.S. in Homeland Security Management was the first of its kind registered in New York State and the University's first fully online degree program.

Posted 05/01/2008

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