Mrs. McDevitt: A Positive Prologue to the Northgate Novel


Mahle Gangi, Staff Writer

Mrs. McDevitt, a 9th grade Gifted/S.T.E.M. English teacher and Sophomore Beta Club sponsor, is pushing an agenda of kindness at Northgate. After having her class during my freshman year, I feel that she truly makes the most genuine effort to help her students and be friendly with them, but at the same time, I realized how little I knew about her. 

Mrs. McDevitt was born in Atlanta and grew up in Fairburn. She attended high school at Campbell of Fairburn and went on to attend Georgia Southern for her undergraduate degree and Georgia State for her masters degree. When asked about her involvement as a student, Mrs. McDevitt responded, “In college, I worked in the library. Surprise, surprise. I babysat for my teachers, I worked for the college newspaper, and I worked at the college radio station. And I tried being in a sorority. For the college paper, I wrote articles about events that were going on on our campus. At the radio station, I worked with a group of students to play music across the campus in cafes, etcetera.” Her graduate school days were much more taxing, however: during graduate school, she was already married and had her first child. She was also working full time. “It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but something I had to do. It was very stressful, but I’m proud of myself.” She recalled her favorite parts of school being her English classes and English teachers because she was able to build relationships with them. “That’s where I got the babysitting jobs,” She laughed. Her least favorite part of school was the pressure she put on herself. She remembers the immense anxiety she felt over assignments and projects as being something that hindered the fun she could have had during her undergraduate years. She doesn’t dwell on the past though: “I would have had more fun during undergrad if I wasn’t so worried about making good grades, but I made good grades, so.”

Outside of the classroom, Mrs. McDevitt’s enjoys reading and travelling. She participates in a book club and she has visiting Scotland and Iceland on her bucket list. She especially enjoys travelling with her family because she thinks it is important to break routine and get everyone away from work and school sometimes. Concluding our interview, I asked if she would take a different academic path given the chance. Mrs. McDevitt responded, “No, not at all. There’s nothing I enjoy more than reading and teaching about reading. The most fulfilling part of being a teacher is when a student feels like I’ve been helpful and kind and a positive part of their day. I think the curriculum is fine, but being a nice person is more important.”