Brian O’Connor

AP Human Geography, Colegio Nueva Granda

Brian O’Connor is a passionate bilingual social studies educator that currently works at Colegio Nueva Granada in Bogota, Colombia. As an anthropologist from the University of Iowa interested in ethnobotany and Latin American studies, Brian spent much time studying in Mexico and Colombia. After a few years studying abroad, teaching, and social work he entered the MAT in social studies teaching at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR to pursue a life path for continual learning, hope, and change through working with youth. After three years teaching US and World History in Spanish in Woodburn, Oregon, social justice and student empowerment were clearly his passion. Brian and Colombian wife Marta moved back to Colombia in 2007. Brian’s passions in teaching are engaging students in social and environmental justice through climate change, sustainability and activism as he teaches AP Human Geography, AP Seminar and a new course with PGC being the central curriculum. Brian met Judi Shils in Bogota in 2011 and has been inviting students to take this incredible challenge ever since. Over his 15 years at Colegio Nueva Granada, Brian has written and taught various courses in sustainability, run our PGC and GIN clubs, organized plantings of over 250 native trees on our campus, organized multiple projects of engaging the local biodiversity of our campus and city. Brian lives with his wife and their two sons Alejandro and Benjamín in Bogotá. As a family we road trip to the far corners of this amazing country finding great wisdom and hope in its lands, cultures, and peoples.