Anything But Normal

Colin Jones, Author

Leaning on his podium, discussing a PowerPoint about abnormal psychology, Mr. Alan McGrath talks to his students about the warning signs of depression,  how they can recognize it and help someone in need.

Now in his tenth year here, McGrath teaches Psychology, AP Psychology, Sociology, and AP Macroeconomics, which he started teaching this year. McGrath is also the sponsor of the Psychology Club.

“They’re all fun and relevant topics to kids,” McGrath said. “Psychology is especially something that will affect everyone in some way at some point in their life.”

McGrath expressed that he has known he wanted to be in education ever since his junior year in high school. He also said that his father, being a NBA photographer, played a big role in McGrath’s career as a coach and teacher.

“My childhood was pretty normal,” McGrath said. “My dad worked for the NBA and my mom was a hospital administrator. My US History teacher from junior year is who really got me interested in education, social studies, history, and from then on, I knew what I wanted to do.”

McGrath went to Purdue and majored in US History and received a minor in Political Science, Psychology and Sociology. Right out of college, he got his first job teaching and coaching in downtown Chicago.

“I had lived there my entire life and I was tired of the sucky weather, and I wanted a change. So I accepted a job offer in Houston, got in my truck and drove down here.”

McGrath was at Spring High School for nine years before moving to Montgomery.

“We had our two daughters and we identified Montgomery as a really good place to raise our kids, so I started watching for jobs and eventually the head coach for boys soccer opened up and I took it.”

McGrath remained the head coach of boys soccer and the assistant football coach up until three years ago. He taught boys PE an

“I have a great situation now,” McGrath said. “I am able to teach really good classes that are really high courses.” 

McGrath said that although he may get back into coaching after his daughters graduate high school, he really appreciates the time he gets to spends with his family. He also said that he enjoys being a positive influence for kids and challenging them to think about things with a different perspective.

“Coach McGrath is one of the most genuine and giving person I’ve ever met,” junior Lauren Maciariello said. “He never stops giving to his students and he wants us all to succeed.”

Other students share the same fondness for McGrath including junior Savannah Hill who said that McGrath “wants us to think about the topics and wants us to engage in the conversations and I like that. It keeps the class interesting.”

“I get something out of what I teach and I feel like I’m doing something fairly important when I come to work every day,” McGrath said. “As long as I walk out of school everyday and I feel like I affected someone positively, then it was a pretty good day.”