New Teacher Profile: Ms. Lilly

Among the new staff members working at City High this year is Ms. Elizabeth Lilly, assistant social worker and certified scuba diver.

I started my career after college working for residential treatment … hopefully [giving students] positive experiences that would then carry over into school and other areas of their life,” said Lilly, who has been a social worker for 23 years.  Lilly worked at a hospital where finished her masters, then worked with offsite school programs for students who didn’t receive sufficient support until those programs were absorbed by the district.  “[Those programs] evolved into the Trek building and what they call the therapeutic classrooms, although I think all classrooms should be therapeutic.”

“I really enjoy working with all children and young adults,” said Lilly when asked why she decided to come to City High, “but I really do love working with high school students.  I luckily got reassigned this year to City and West and I’m still at Trek a little bit, but I’m really happy to be back at the high school level.  I think that’s when it’s great because student’s minds are still open, but they’re changing, and they’re challenging beliefs, and it’s great to be involved in that and see that happen, and then throw some questions at them that maybe make them think about some things.”

Lilly describes her philosophy for teaching any subject as presenting the material in a way that is relatable and carries meaning to the students, as well as making sure it’s fun.  She likes to use her own stories from high school to relate to her students.

“My whole goal working across the populations I work with is to try to make their world bigger and have less adults involved, and help them learn the skills to make decisions and deal with their stress so their world doesn’t get smaller or more confined,” Lilly explained.  “It should get bigger as you get older; whatever I can do to help that.”

Lilly loves exercising, biking, reading, going to movies, and “wogging”, an activity she describes as somewhere between a walk and a jog.

“I got certified in scuba diving like two years ago,” Lilly said. “Y’know, it’s never too late to do something new … Explore different ways to manage your emotions and anxiety.  You need to take care of yourself and it’s really easy in high school to just lose yourself and be lost in thinking about what everybody else is thinking about you.”

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