Katy Conlin: More Than a Teacher

By Lilly Martinez 

June 4, 2024

Katy Conlin teaches advanced film and video, intermediate film and video, and algebra one at Morro Bay High School. She has primarily taught freshman classes, but has a strong appreciation for the maturity of older students. Conlin says her goal in the classroom is to “connect and be more than a teacher.”

She believes that by having a stronger connection with her students than some teachers may, classes can be more receptive to learning new concepts from her. Learning from someone you’re comfortable with is less intimidating than learning from a complete stranger or acquaintance you know nothing about. 

Aside from the emotional connection Conlin aspires to have with her students, it’s also important to her that she teaches the subjects to them in ways they can understand. In the classroom, she tries to mix up the different learning techniques she uses. One day, her students may be taking three pages of notes and listening to a lecture, and the next, they might be doing a hands-on activity. Throughout the year Conlin gauges what techniques work best with her class. 

Before teaching, Conlin was an engineer for nearly five years. She worked for a local firm in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, due to many factors, the career was not a good fit for Conlin, and it became more of a burden than something that she loved. That is what landed her in teaching. After resigning from her position in the company, she went back to school to get her teaching credential and became the Katy Conlin that we know and love today.

Her choice to work with high school students came from the affection she gained for them while working as a camp counselor for five summers during her first four years of college. Conlin acknowledges that the summer camp and classroom environments are clearly different from one another, but the energy and ideas teenagers bring to each makes each day exciting. 

As a role model for her students, Conlin says, “I hope they’re on the straight and narrow path, not the wide and curvy. I want them to be set up for success in life, because there’s a lot of different directions they could go.”

Conlin is also involved on the MBHS campus as an assistant coach for the varsity girl’s basketball team and oversees the filming and editing process of Spyglass Today, our school’s weekly news broadcast. 

Basketball is something that Conlin holds very near and dear to her heart, as it’s been a constant in her life since childhood. She grew up playing basketball in junior high and high school, as well as watching live NBA games with her late father. Keeping herself involved with the sport is also a way she stays connected to the memories of him.

Since changing careers, Colin has never once regretted the swap. While some may question her about the financial sacrifices that came with changing her path, she says it’s nowhere near as important as her wellbeing which is now thriving. 

As a teacher, she has the ability to completely alter peoples’ lives. What drives Conlin to get out of bed every morning is making a positive impact on the world. With high school students around her each day, she has that direct insight to what the next generation will be like and what she can do to help.

When asked what she does to directly improve the world, Conlin quickly answered, “Just love.”