Catching Up with Mrs. Naylor


Sydney Washburn and Henry Gates

Described by her former students as “helpful, understanding, and positive,” former Scituate High School freshman English teacher Karen Naylor joined the faculty at Gates Middle School this year. Although her departure from the high school left many members of the SHS school community feeling sad, Naylor’s generosity and kind spirit left a lasting impression on both the staff and student body as a whole. 

At SHS, Naylor was known for her ability to make students feel both comforted and supported within an academic atmosphere. SHS alumna Jillian Hausmann (Class of 2021) attested to Naylor’s outstanding character: “She always made me feel like I had someone who was there for me every step of the way as I was a young freshman adjusting to high school,” remarked Hausmann. “She is genuinely the nicest human being who has the biggest heart. She paid attention to every student as an individual and made them all feel special.” 

Senior Brooke Pierotti explained how Naylor’s support and teaching style helped her gain confidence in her writing during her first year in high school. Pierotti feels the freshman class will “absolutely feel the impact of her departure, as she shined the light in the school and helped all freshmen to find their voices.” Junior Sarah Fogarty agreed, adding how Naylor always encouraged her and her classmates to work as hard as they could and taught proper time management skills–a crucial skill for incoming high schoolers to gain. 

Although the SHS community is missing Naylor, her move to the middle school will undoubtedly advance her professional career. When asked about her reason for relocating schools, Naylor said she had “been wanting to try teaching middle school for a while.” Naylor explained that when the opportunity arose, she didn’t want to pass it up. Referring to her experience with the hectic 2020-2021 school year, Naylor commented, “After the year we had last year, I feel like I wouldn’t be able to do my job without a change.”  

Naylor’s move prompted an adjustment to her perspective and teaching style. She explained that one of the biggest shifts is “having to tell the students things that [she] would never have to tell high school students.” According to Naylor, middle school students need to be reminded to stay in their seats and to refrain from talking while the teacher is talking. Naylor went on to explain that the “transformation of the students between middle school and high school is huge,” and although drastically different, she’s “glad to play a vital part in that process.” 

Finally, Naylor discussed some of the differences between high school and middle school. Among these, she noticed “the conversations with teachers are different” before clarifying that “they are all good differences.” Although she is enjoying her new school thus far, Naylor does admit the thing she “misses the most are the students and people.”