English teacher works side gigs to explore his interests


Cameron Rozek

Tom McGrath

Cameron Rozek, Editor-in-Chief & Head News Editor

Tom McGrath is a Communication Arts teacher at Central who has pursued further learning in other fields outside of education. In addition to his 26 years as a teacher and master’s degree in education, McGrath has also worked as both a lawyer and a bartender in his off hours. 

“I think it was about 2009 that I started going to law school at night,” McGrath said.  “I wasn’t looking to get out of teaching per se, but I was definitely looking to continue my education.”

McGrath had always had an interest in law and wanted to continue his learning in a field where he could find a career if he ever decided to stop teaching. Today, McGrath does estate planning on the side, organizing people’s wills, properties and trusts. 

“I’ve been able to learn a lot doing that and working with people.” He said. “It’s actually been a great experience.”

Additionally, McGrath spent 11 years as a nighttime bartender, a side job that struck his interest when he was working at a club near the end of his college years.

“I always liked traveling and as a teacher, you make an okay salary, but it’s not necessarily enough that you can go away a month and travel somewhere,” McGrath said. “I would use my money from my night job bartending and save that up so I can go travel in the summer.” 

McGrath feels that his experience in a diverse set of jobs has helped him better understand people and improve his teaching capabilities as he continues to learn.

“I think one of the things I think you’ll find with teachers as a general rule is that we’re oriented towards learning because it’s our job,” he said.