Business Department’s Newest Addition: Shelly O’Neal-Kegler

Business Department’s Newest Addition: Shelly O’Neal-Kegler

Brooke Holland, Editor

This year, at Bellows Free Academy, the business department welcomes a new addition to the staff: Shelly O’Neal-Kegler. Prior to BFA, O’Neal worked at a high school in Groton, Conn. for 13 years where she taught an array of business classes.

“I taught business classes such as accounting, marketing, work experience, personal finance and a freshman academic/project class. Within my accounting and marketing classes, we ran the school store and competed in business competitions through the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America),” O’Neal said.

O’Neal knew during her high school career that she would teach business to high school students. 

“In high school, I always knew that I would become a high school business teacher at some point, but I thought that this would take place after a small career in accounting. Hence, my college career starting at Three Rivers with an accounting major. During this time I started to find accounting a little dry and changed my major to business management,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal applied to BFA when her husband’s job transferred him to Burlington, which is where they both live after moving from New London, Conn. 

“I was really impressed that Personal Finance and Careers Exploration was a graduation requirement. I had been pushing for these two exact classes to become a graduation requirement at my old high school. This reason alone was enough for me to apply and see what the outcome may be,” O’Neal said. 

Outside of class, O’Neal has been with her husband for 19 years and married for 13. She has four half-brothers and one half-sister. 

She studied at Three Rivers Community College to earn her Associate’s Degree in Accounting, Mitchell college for her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and the University of New Haven for a Master’s Degree in Education. 

So far, O’Neal says she has felt like she has had five first days of high school. 

“[BFA] is going well. I feel like I am settling into my classroom and getting to know my students a little bit more each day. Every day I get to learn something new – whether this is about my peers, students, the school or the community,” O’Neal said. 

O’Neal finds picking a favorite class so far is difficult; however, she does find importance in the Personal Finance course offered here at BFA.

“I am passionate about Personal Finance and feel that it is one of the most important classes that you can take while you are in high school. It does not matter what your plans are after high school – the content in this class is going to apply to each and every student. If I can help plant little seeds of information now to help someone’s financial future grow, I feel that I am making a difference.”