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Patrick O'Brien
12th Grade Social Studies
Senior Team Lead


Mine has been a life of changes and contrasts. After growing up in a small, rural Pennsylvania town, I went to college in the diverse Bronx.  Then I went to Japan for six years and taught English. Next, I returned to the United States and earned an M.A. in Asian Studies at Cornell, which was an hour from my hometown. I loved it.

I failed to find a job after Cornell, so I decided to get my Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Hawaii, where I took three more years of classes, then started the tortuous process of writing a dissertation that few people would ever read. To support myself while writing, I returned to Sapporo, Japan, which is the biggest city in the northern part of that country (and has tons of snow!). There I taught American culture and history at a university -- plus lots more English. I’m glad the salary was good because it took me six years to finish the dissertation process.

I met a lovely woman in Sapporo, and we married in 2008, then had two sons, one born in 2009, the other in 2012. They are bilingual, and we decided to educate them in America, so in 2017 I returned to America by myself to find a teaching job. In July 2018 I was hired by DCIS Montbello to teach 12th grade social studies. It is my first time in Denver, so everything is new. I hope to soon find a place, then move my family from Japan to Denver. I’m sure we’ll love life here.