Palm Beach Rising: Olympia Bishop

Photography by Nick Mele

Educator Olympia Bishop (née Shields) is continuing her famous family’s local legacy by making her own mark on the next generation of Palm Beachers. In 2015, Bishop left her department head position at a New York City school to teach math to sixth through ninth graders at Palm Beach Day Academy, her alma mater. “I remember saying I wanted to be Mrs. Close when I grew up, which is funny because she’s one of the teachers I work with today,” she says. “It’s crazy, but everything comes full circle.” The energetic teacher realized her passion for helping children at a young age. In high school, she spent her summers working at a camp for kids with emotional and behavioral disorders and also volunteered with the Boys & Girls Clubs organization. Today, she and her husband, Brooks, are proponents of the Palm Beach County chapter. “I saw firsthand all of the services and resources they provided for students who wouldn’t otherwise have it. It’s my way of giving back to that same population of kids.”

Role model: My late father, Frank Shields. He always conveyed the importance of family, being grounded, and having strong moral character. Favorite restaurant: Oceano Kitchen On growing up a Shields: “Brookie” was always my sister, and I didn’t know she was famous because I was too young to know. Everybody is somebody down here, so people are modest and don’t make a big deal of it. Currently reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng Bucket list trip: Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, which I’m doing in December. Another is hiking Patagonia and staying in a yurt. What she’d title her autobiography: Back to the Beach Best gift she’s ever received: A St. Christopher [the patron saint of travelers] pendant. It’s a tradition in my family that when everyone graduates from college they receive the pendant, which are all made from the same mold at Blue Caribe Gems. Favorite movie: Almost Famous Dream dinner guest: Jimmy Iovine. I love the documentary series The Defiant Ones. Best quality: Open-mindedness.

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