From peer to career: Mrs. Astrida Rudolph


Submitted Photo

Mrs. Astrida Ruoldph is one of many teachers who have graduated from North Penn.

Our last peer to career feature of the year is Mrs. Astrida Rudolph, a beloved substitute teacher here at North Penn. 

What is your background?

After I graduated from NPHS I earned a Bachelor’s degree (with Magna Cum Laude Honors) in a Language Arts Secondary Education at Bethel University in Minnesota. Right after graduation, I accepted an offer to be an English teacher at Phil-Mont Academy in Chestnut Hill, where I ended up staying for 10 years as a teacher, department head, and class & club advisor. (My favorite was the once a month book club where I got to lead students in lively discussions about great writing!) I left that job when my son was born (and later my daughter) so that I would have more time to spend at home with them. After a part time job as a fashion stylist, and my own kids becoming NP students, I came back to my high school as a substitute teacher!

When you were a student, did you think you’d come back?

I did not think about coming back to NPHS to teach. At the time, I was focused on college and I really just wanted to be open to whatever the future held. It has been this unexpected and unplanned part of my journey that I have had the joy of teaching English to students in the same place that I fell in love with the power and beauty of words. (I’ll never forget that I chose my daughter’s name from a book I read senior year – TESS – back before I even knew I would have a daughter!)

What are the main differences between your time as a student and a staffer?

The main difference between my time then as a student and now as a staff member is that now I get to spend my whole day in my favorite class (English!!) and I don’t have to struggle with math and science. I’ve always liked school but now I love it even more because I can spend all day in conversations about literature. Also, the ups and downs of life have taught me to cherish each day and the people in it and not to get stressed out about unimportant things. The years have brought me both good and bad days and each time I walk through the front doors of the school I am thankful for the love that has filled my life since I was a student here. As a former student, I am reminded each day of how far I have come, and how thankful I am for each year that I have been gifted.

When starting your job at NP, were any aspects easier because of your experience there as a student?

When I started subbing at NPHS everything was easier because I had been a student!! I knew where I was going, I understood the traditions, I felt at HOME. I immediately felt a connection to the students because I had been where they are now. For example, I loved going up to sing the Hallelujah Chorus at Christmas time with the Choir because I had once been a part of that group. All my time at the high school as a student contributed to my comfort and confidence as a teacher.  It has also made my time as a teacher very special because I have the privilege of encouraging current NPHS students in their journey through their high school years from the place of being a bit further along in my own life’s journey.

When starting at NP, was anything more difficult or unexpected because of your experience there as a student?

Actually, nothing was more difficult because I had been a student here.

Biggest change since you were a student?

Biggest Change since 1991: SMART PHONES!!!!

Main thing that’s stayed the same since you were a student?

The main thing that has stayed the same is that even though outsiders think North Penn is huge and must be impersonal and overwhelming, as someone on the inside (a student and now a teacher) I knew then and know now that North Penn is a place filled with kind, caring, talented, awesome people that make it feel like HOME.