New economics teacher is good investment


Former J.P. Morgan employee and now economics teacher at the school, Mr. Robert Byrnes prepares to challenge his new students.

Economics and history teacher Mr. Robert Byrnes wasn’t always a teacher. A graduate of James Madison University with a degree in history and computer information systems, Byrnes originally worked at J. P. Morgan in the trade support division before making a career switch to education. “I decided that finance wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Mr. Byrnes said.

Mr. Byrnes began as a student-teacher at Yorktown High School last year after earning his M.Ed from Marymount University, and this year is his first teaching at the school.

As an economics and personal finance teacher, Mr. Byrnes is attracted to the subject because of the investing aspect, drawing on his experience working at J. P. Morgan. “I’m very into investing myself,” he said. “It’s the knowledge I’ve gained that I’d like to share with my students.”

From his own experience in high school, Mr. Byrnes always felt that the best teachers were the ones who challenged their students. He plans to test his students in the same way. “It’s a little bit of a work in progress to really get a class that’s well organized and that reaches all of my students,” he said. “I want my students voices to be heard, I want to hear their opinions. A lot of things aren’t so concrete, especially with economics and personal finance.”

Mr. Byrnes looks forward to his new career at the school, which he views as both difficult and rewarding. “I was looking for a job that was going to be challenging every day, but also something that was enjoyable,” he said. “[I enjoy] coming up with lessons and different presentations to give to students and trying to make it engaging for them so that they want to learn and listen to what I have to say: I think I’m having a lot of fun doing this.”