New teacher finds a family at Heritage

in Features/Profiles by
Ms. Alexandra Yadgaroff is excited to join the Heritage staff. “I love teaching because I feel so much joy watching students grow as artists and find ways to connect to their work,” she said. (Photo/Alexandra Yadgaroff)

Photography teacher Ms. Alexandra Yadgaroff considers herself lucky: most people have one family, but she has three. Adopted at birth, Ms. Yadgaroff grew up loving her “found family.” She had a carefree childhood and never felt excluded from her parents and older brother; she always felt like she was theirs. 

Yet, inevitably, she grew curious about her biological family. After years of searching, she finally met her biological family in a tearful reunion. Currently, she’s extremely close with both her biological brother and adopted family. 

Growing up, Ms. Yadgaroff’s father always had a digital camera that she would borrow. “I liked to take pictures of pretty much anything,” she said. “Then one day he gifted me a digital camera of my very own. From that moment forward, it’s just been something I consistently do.” These early moments sparked a passion for photography in her that never died out. 

With support from her both families, Ms. Yadgaroff pursued a career in photography, and recently graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art. Inspired by her high school art teacher, Ms. Keane, Ms. Yadgaroff always knew she  wanted to teach a fine arts subject. Yet after graduating, she doubted herself and wanted to explore other career options. 

Within the last few years, she decided she wanted to work as a teacher again, and when a teaching position opened at Heritage, she applied and was accepted. Despite being nervous about her career switch from photography to teaching, Ms. Yadgaroff was welcomed with open arms and encouragement from her co-workers. “I like how supported I feel [here], especially in the fine arts department,” she said. “Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful.” 

With the support of other staff members, Ms. Yadgaroff immediately immersed herself in all the programs and benefits offered by the school. She is the current advisor for the photography club and teaches the majority of photography classes at Heritage. The state-of-the-art facilities allow Ms. Yadgaroff to experience photography in a way like never before. “I feel like it’s such a privilege to have a dark room because it’s rare to find schools that still have them,” she said. “You get to experience the patience it takes to learn how to use a film camera and develop it yourself. The entire process from start to finish is incredible.”

In her free time, she likes to take photos and relax, and spend time with her friends, family and fiance. Their wedding will be next May in South Florida. 

Emma, a current sophomore at American Heritage, is extremely excited to be joining the Patriot Post Staff this year! As an active reader and writer, she is often found scribbling away in a notebook or devouring a novel. Outside of newspaper, she is an active member of Science Research, Model UN, Science Olympiad, Key Club, and much more. In her rare free time, you can find her watching musicals, volunteering at an assisted living facility for the memory-loss, or catching up on her latest TV drama.