It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and one of the most dedicated teachers in Boston lives and works right here in Southie—Josephine (Josie) Glausen, 11th and 12 grade special ed teacher at the historic Excel High School (a.k.a. Southie High). She’s got a reputation for dedication to her students, and she’s been developing fundraising and career initiatives for her students to flourish. Learn more about Glausen, her work, and her passion for her students.
Who she is
Glausen—a Simmons and UMass Boston grad—has been a Boston Public School teacher for over a decade. She’s taught at Excel since 2017. Before that, she taught in Brighton at Edison K-8; her decision to come to Excel was driven by the fact that she’s lived in Southie since 2007. “I wanted to work with a high school in our neighborhood—so I could do activities after school and have a presence beyond the classroom.”
What she does
In addition to a full schedule as a special educator, Glausen is a senior advisor to the class of 2019: she helps organize prom (they’re still in need of supplies!) and the senior trip, helps to coordinate graduation, and works on much-needed fundraising. She also manages the school’s social media, giving people a look at what the students are up to. Recent highlights include students’ trip to D.C. for a national math festival led by teachers Jennifer Garay and Ryan Gillespie (another Southie resident!), as well as the school’s recent baseball/softball games.
Excel is a turnaround school, so she and the other teachers and administrators are working to reduce turnover, improve test scores, and train teachers. “A lot of people don’t have high school-aged kids in the area anymore, but for families who do want it, we want to give them a good community school if that’s what they choose. We’re doing exciting things,” she says.
What people don’t know about her work
Glausen says her favorite part of the work is just the day-to-day experience—seeing her kids improve in their uniquely different ways, helping to make a safe place for them, and sending them off into the world. She’s already cried, according to her, “over ten times” thinking about this year’s graduation. And it goes beyond the stage—she keeps in touch with many recent graduates, checking in on them and following them into adulthood.
“We’re thinking of kids 24/7, and we want the best for them—to provide them with a safe place where they can walk out prepared after they graduate, whether that be a career or college,” she says. “We have a big responsibility with kids going into the workplace, so we try to accept that and do the best job we can.”
How the community can help
If community members want to volunteer, mentor, help coordinate events, or assist with other opportunities, Glausen would love to hear from you. In particular, the school’s Business & Tech Pathways, which focuses on real world learning in computer science and entrepreneurship, is a newer and growing part of the school. It aims to provide students access to internships and careers—and Excel needs local businesses with which to partner.
Glausen also hopes that people interact with students when they come across each other in the community. “Say hi—they’re really good kids! I love them so much, and I know you will too!” she says.
She says that local businesses like the Broadway Group, The Handle Bar, Moonshine 152, GE, Reebok, Autodesk, and Dorchester Heights Association, just to name a few, have already helped with fundraising and support. “We want the community to welcome us—because we love being here,” she says.