By Carol Masshardt

(The series will feature 2024 high school graduates from South Boston)

Many high school seniors are understandably unsure about their future goals, but eighteen-year-old Caleigh Houlihan isn’t one of them. If ever there was a born teacher in the making it is this South Boston native and 2024 Boston Latin Academy  graduate.

Soon to attend Bridgewater State University as an Elementary Education/Special Education major, Caleigh hasn’t missed an opportunity to prepare. Perhaps it began at home with two younger sisters, or through the years at Miss Linda’s Dance Program, and/or in tutoring and babysitting, and surely because of teachers she has had.

“I have been thinking about being a teacher and talking about it forever,” she said. “And Bridgewater was my choice since I had a great student teacher, Kaiylin Corrado, at the Perry School. She went there and  loved it.”

“I love thinking about how people learn differently, and that is what interests me. As a teacher I will be able to help the next generation and be part of their support system. My family said I am a born teacher and I actually think that is right!”

Caleigh has had years of observing how people learn, including her own experience with “zoom school” during COVID, and throughout an exam high school. 

“I realized that looking at a computer screen all day wasn’t the way I learned. I’m a hands-on person, and people grew apart and were just in their houses. It impacted a lot of us mentally at that time,” she said. “I did learn much more about technology though and in fact just took a placement test at home online, which was very comfortable.”

Caleigh observes teachers and administrator differently than many students. She looks at effectiveness, fairness and is already starting to form her own ideas about leadership and policy.

“I liked Boston Latin Academy for the most part. Since it was advanced, I could work at my own pace. I like to work fast and move on, and I could do that. I also definitely made friends from all over Boston.”

Caleigh Houlihan is of South Boston. Her closest group of friends are in the community, and she has worked at Deja Brew for three years, in addition to her community child-based involvement and dance since age 2.  Her mother, Bonnie, works at the Perry School and her father, Pat, is an electrician and she has an extended family in the area.

“I can walk down the block and know someone on every street,” she said. “I want to live here when I grow up, but it’s time now to be an hour away. I have to test myself and want to learn how to be independent. I think it is going to be hard, and my parents said that commuting to a college from home is an option, but this is right. Plus, one of my best friends from Southie will be my roommate!”

In a blink of an eye, it is easy to imagine that Caleigh Houlihan will be that student teacher, teacher, and perhaps educational leader, who will inspire a new generation to learn and contribute. She will be bringing a passion for kids and teaching, a math mind and a family and community ready to support her success.

Congratulations, Caleigh!

(Please contact If you are , or know of a graduate we can salute)