Mrs. Stahl wins Teacher of the Year award


Photo Courtesy of Rachel Stahl

English teaching Rachel Stahl was awarded Teacher of the Year for the 2019 school year.

Several teachers are appreciated at WHS, but the one who stood out most to students this year was English teacher Rachel Stahl. During her seventh year teaching at WHS, Stahl was recognized at the 2019 Renaissance Assembly for winning the annual “Teacher of the Year” award, where students and staff were able to display their appreciation for her inspiring personality and welcoming classroom environment.

“Her personality is just so bright and happy,” junior Drew Post said. “She’s such an easy person to talk to.”

Class is more likely to be enjoyable for both the student and the teacher when collaboration is involved. However, it is important to have a fine line separating friendships and student-staff relationships.

“I think they think of me as a friend, but I don’t love that because they know I’m still a disciplinarian and I want to make that there is still that boundary,” Stahl said. “You have to balance being a supportive figure or role model in their life with being their teacher or someone who is going to hold them responsible and accountable for their actions and choices.”

Many students agree that when a teacher cares and listens, the learning experience is better as a whole. Whether it be their opinion on a topic or needing help with homework, Stahl offered students a safe learning space where the students were a top priority.

“I feel like she actually cares,” junior Elise Pruett said. “If [a student] really needs help, she will stay after school and help. She’s very interactive.”

It was important to Stahl that her students have a voice, and she believed it was beneficial for them to have ownership over what they were learning. When it came to life beyond the classroom, she hoped to leave the impression that the lessons learned at school would apply to real life as well.

“It’s important [for students] to be a good human being,” Stahl said. “To be respectful, timely and to work hard at everything they do; to respect themselves enough that they want to give 100 percent every day, whatever their hundred percent is for that day.”

With the lessons learned and the fun students had in Stahl’s class, it was no wonder for many that she was voted Teacher of the Year. 

“It’s been really fun getting the support and encouragement from people,” Stahl said. “It’s not always easy being a teacher, so any time you get a good job or pat on the back it’s rewarding and it reminds us why we do this, that we are here to build lifelong learners.”