Tampa Prep Alumna joins the Academy family


Jessica Jurado

New English teacher, Dr. Oetinger not only loves books but creative writing as well.

Former Tampa Prep student, Dr. Lauren Oetinger, joins the Academy family as the new junior English teacher this year.

With Dr. Oetinger’s upbringing in Tampa and Bachelor’s Degree earned from the University of Tampa, it’s not a surprise that she returned to her hometown to teach.

Dr. Oetinger didn’t intend to major in education. She first majored in Criminology. However, she changed her mind, as many college students do, and switched to Elementary Education. After a scarring internship in the classroom, she decided messy children were not the students she wanted to teach and again changed her major to English-Creative Writing. She went to graduate school at the University of South Florida and was offered a position to teach during her second year.

“I was thrown into teaching,” says Dr. Oetinger, as she describes her first real teaching job. Still searching for knowledge, she continued her schooling and attended the University of Southern Mississippi to earn her Doctorate.

Although her favorite author is Toni Morrison (whom she found in high school and considers to be a “lifelong love”), she thoroughly enjoys reading Jane Austen, the Hunger Games Trilogy, and even admitted to reading Twilight.

Now juniors, pay attention! No social media on the iPads or phones in English class! These things not only violate school policy, but Dr. Oetinger admits that they are her biggest pet peeve.

Dr. Oetinger also told Achona that she loves working with her students and understands that junior year is very intense, but she will happily help her girls through it.

Growing up in the Tampa Bay area, she was very aware of Academy and the reputation it upholds. She had friends who went to school at Academy while she attended Tampa Prep. Even with her previous knowledge about AHN, Dr. Oetinger was intrigued to learn more about the amazing service of the Sisters of the Holy Names, the motto Esse Quam Videri  (“To Be, Rather Than to Seem”), and the mission Academy carries out.

Although this is Dr. Oetinger’s sixth year of teaching in the classroom, it is her first time teaching at the high school level. “I was definitely surprised I got the phone call.” She recalled the memory with a big grin on her face. “I came into the interview, excited to get on board with everything that is happening here.”

When asked about the students at AHN, Dr. Oetinger had nothing but wonderful compliments to give them. “The girls here are really not girls, they are young women, and that is not a term I throw around lightly. There is sophistication and level of maturity I personally believe is required to achieve the status of young women.” She even went so far as to say her seven month old baby girl, Emma, will definitely be an Academy girl one day.

Dr. Oetinger will bring a new perspective of Tampa private schools as well as enthusiasm to the school’s community. She’s a great addition to the amazing faculty here at Academy of the Holy Names. So if you see her in the hallways, don’t be afraid to say “hello” and “welcome”!