Submitted by Duren

Duren goes for walks and national parks, and lakes such as Lake Bryant and Lake Como.

Duren compares her past science teaching experiences to SPA

Biology teacher Winona Duren contemplates the difficulties of transferring to a school for a year. She said, “I was very overwhelmed and worried people would not get to know me due to the lack of time I’m at SPA,” she said.

Fortunately, the student, teachers, and parents welcomed her with open arms. Everyone was receptive and interested to learn about who she was and how they can support her. Duren previously taught in England and hopes to go back after her year away. She taught sciences to her students and compared the experience to her life at SPA she said, “I think the main difference for me is the respect, students will say thank you at the end of class and genuinely want to learn by asking probing questions.”

This year, she has four different biology classes that tenth-grade students are required to take. She also leads a sophomore advisory group. Duren has three children: a six-year-old son James, the middle child Patrick, and the youngest baby girl, Betsy, who is only ten months old. COVID-19 has affected her and her family. Duren said, “Yeah, so it was like more of an adjustment of meeting other babies for the first time and having someone else watch Betsy.”


Besides science, Duren is passionate about cooking but prefers baking. She said, “I prefer baking…my family and I have this tradition where we eat seven-layer bars on the first day of school.” Duren goes for walks and national parks, and lakes such as Lake Bryant and Lake Como. She transfers her excitement for science into cooking, measuring, and baking the meals as she sees fit. Her career as a teacher during COVID-19 has allowed her to explore her other interests and spend more time with her family.

Ivy Raya: Could you talk about how you’re feeling, like the beginning of the school year? Where are you coming from? How has SPA been as a community?

Winona Duren: Well, my last teaching experience was in England. I worked at a school called Chancellor school, which was like a public school, that was very rigorous. So there I taught a variety of sciences, biology, and chemistry, similar, comparatively to SPA.

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