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Patrick McAndrew '84 and back-to-school advice

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Posted on Thursday, September 1, 2022

As the brand-new school year launches the feeling of newness and anticipation, Patrick McAndrew ’84, retired high school art teacher and past Titan football player, shares tips for a successful and organized year ahead!

1. Tell me about the years following graduation from Westminster – what are a few highlights and timeline points that stand out to you?

I married my Westminster sweetheart, Kathy Hast McAndrew '84, in October of 1985. I can’t imagine life without her. I tell people all the time, the most amazing people I met in life worked at Westminster, went to Westminster, or are working there now. 

Also, I was blessed to have found a career that I love, teaching high school art for 35.5 years. I was highly involved with the school district and community my entire career.

2. As the school year approaches, how can our Titan community ensure a successful start to the year? What’s one habit we can adopt together?

Be organized: at home and at work. Take care of yourself! Try to eat right and get some exercise. Get enough sleep!  A week before I started back to school, I would get to bed earlier, around 9 or 9:30 p.m. and started getting up at 5 a.m. 

3. Being a teacher, you taught so many lessons. What’s been a lesson YOU’VE learned from your years of teaching?

There is no one way to do something. I embraced differences - differences in teaching, learning and students! This was a lesson I learned from all the football coaches at Westminster. People respond differently to different things. I was very much involved with the academics, visual and performing arts - and also athletics. I like to think I had a unique skill set as a teacher.

4. What’s a lesson you learned from your time at Westminster College?

Do what you love, regardless what people may say. Work hard and lift each other up. Continue to be rich in tradition, pride and excellence! It’s the Westminster Way!

5. Who was the greatest teacher at Westminster – how did they impact your life?

There were so MANY.

Dr. Scheid: I LOVED his class. His facial expressions, body language. Covering the material yet entertaining to watch/study for me! A part of him became my teaching style.

Dr. Swanhart: A group of students from the class would pile into someone’s dorm room and ask each other questions that we thought might be on the exams. I surrounded myself with good people that would help each other out! Showing your understanding of the BIG PICTURE became a part of me.

Dr. Huey: He was very much the same person in the classroom as well as our football coach on the field. He was detailed oriented, calm and a great role model. I had to work at being calmer early in my teaching career – and he helped me with that.

Patrick McAndrew was an Art Education major at Westminster. To read more stories like this one, visit the Alumni Stories & Spotlights page.