Maureen Kelly


Mo Kelly began her education at Russell Byers as a four-year-old Kindergarten student and attended RBCS all the way through 6th grade. At that time Byers didn’t have a middle school, so after her elementary school graduation, Mo attended Greenfield School for 7th and 8th grade, and then selected Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in center city for high school. Like many who attended SLA from 2017-2019, Mo had to stay flexible and open-minded, as the student body was continually shifted from one space to another due to building issues, like asbestos, and other space restraints. She and her classmates were first moved to the School District of Philadelphia headquarters at 440 North Broad St., then to Rodeph Shalom synagogue at 615 N. Broad Street, and finally, she spent her senior year learning from home due to the pandemic! Quite an unusual high school career!

Currently, Mo is a history major at Vassar College where she is now completing her sophomore year. She says she loves the passion Vassar professors bring to their teaching and loves the opportunity to build relationships with them and with many of her peers that the fairly small campus (of just 2,500 students) offers. Mo is considering minoring in education and envisions a career teaching high school history.  She is especially keen on modern American history with a focus on the 20th century.

maureen Kelly

Vassar has an “open curriculum” which gives students a substantial say in their course schedules. There are only three required courses:  one year of an international language (Mo is currently tackling German!), a writing seminar, and a math class (Mo chose astronomy!). All other courses are focused around her history major. Knowing she wants to teach, Mo anticipates going to graduate school next to earn her teaching certificate.

Mo was a recipient of a National Recreation Foundation grant from the Byerschool Foundation, and she shared that it has been helpful in purchasing the books she needs for her classes at Vassar.

When asked what words of wisdom she might have for current RBCS students, she said, “Live in the present. Enjoy the time you are in now, and learn from the great RBCS teachers.”

We look forward to seeing where Mo goes next, and we know her passion for history will prove infectious in educating the next generation, her future students.