Rebecca (Shaw) Ingerslev

High School English Teacher, Westford Public Schools

Class Year


Professional Background

After earning my BA as an English major I first taught English for a quarter at my own high school, then worked several administrative jobs in Massachusetts (a mom-and-pop eye-device manufacturing company) and Washington DC (the then-trendy Advisory Board Company). After two years, I followed my dream to get an MA in Education at Stanford. Since 2000 I have worked at Westford Academy, a public high school in Westford, Massachusetts. I've taught over 1,700 students over the years and have served as advisor for the Literary Magazine, the National Honor Society and currently serve as the advisor for the Environmental Club.

How has being an English graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?

I use my English degree daily as I teach AP Literature & Composition as well as American Literature at Westford Academy (a public high school in alma mater, in fact). My yearly lectures on Hamlet and Macbeth draw heavily from Professor Joe Ashby Porter's Shakespeare notes. I encourage my students to read and study texts that I studied in my Duke classes including "Machos, Martyrs and Mothers of Revenge" with Tom Ferrara and "Margaret Atwood" with Arnold Davidson. I foster my AP studentsäó» use of different lenses of literary criticism, which I learned in my English 90 course freshman year. In all, my English degree is essential for my job and has impacted over 1,700 students over the past 17 years that Iäó»ve been teaching English.

Rebecca (Shaw) Ingerslev