Conn Continues Business Teaching Career at CHS

More stories from Cate Harding


Photo courtesy of Ms. Conn

The new school year has already begun but that does not mean new things aren’t happening every day. CHS recently welcomed another new staff member, Ms. Patricia Conn, to replace former business teacher Mr. Ross Maddalon. As a member of the business department, Conn is teaching a financial readiness course along with a new course called “Business of Sports and Entertainment Marketing.” It is her 13th year as an educator, but her skills are not limited to just teaching.

“I am a second-career teacher meaning that my first career was in technology, and in 2008 I got laid off as did many Americans due to the economic downturn in the U.S. and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” Conn said. “However I had gone to school part-time for about 20 years to get my four degrees and my friends kind of suggested I become a teacher.”

Conn earned her associates degree from Camden County College and continued her education at Rider University where she received her bachelors and MBA in business. Her original career had involved working for investment firms such as Merrill Lynch and BlackRock as a Vice President of Technology. Thanks to the encouragement of friends, she went on to get her masters degree at TCNJ in education which started her journey down a new career path.

“At first I thought they were crazy and then what I started to do was volunteer in all different types of classrooms in all different types of schools and realized it was something I wanted to do as my second career,” Conn said. “I looked at it as a second opportunity to do something different and hopefully impact young people’s lives in a positive way.”

Conn said she first started teaching at Camden County College in their high school programs. From there she met retired teachers who suggested she get her business certification. Before coming to teach at Cinnaminson, she taught at Kingsway, Arthur P. Shalick, and Glassboro High School. She has taught a wide range of courses revolving around business including: accounting, financial readiness, career explorations, digital social media marketing, computer art, and entrepreneurship. 

After seeing that there was an opening for a business teacher here at CHS, Conn said she spoke to a friend wondering if she should apply.

“The day that I saw the opening I had gone over to visit a friend and her husband was a former principal here and he talked me into applying because he said what a wonderful community it was [for] both families, administration, and especially the students,” Conn said.

Although Conn has only been at CHS for a short period of time, she said her favorite part about being here is how nice and respectful the students are.

“I do really enjoy the students,” Conn said. “I think they’re very respectful, conscientious, and just really pleasant young people to be around.”

She said she is looking forward to being able to accomplish creating a positive learning environment for her students along with aiding them with gaining skills that will benefit them in the future.

“I hope to accomplish a positive reputation for learning and for engagement in my classroom and to help prepare students for college or careers,” Conn said.

Conn also expressed an interest in participating in activities such as DECA because she has previous experience overseeing it at her past schools. She said she wants to get more involved in the future but for now her goal is to get established in her teaching position at CHS.

“I am going to help with the DECA club, I mean unofficially,” Conn said. “I’m going to be a volunteer. This is my first year so it’s hard to get involved in a lot because I focus on my courses.”

Conn said she is excited about what lies ahead, which includes being fully engaged in the atmosphere of CHS.

“I’m just really happy to be here,” Conn said. “I’m excited for the school year and to become a full-fledged Pirate!”