Perfectly Positive Addition for WHB


Emily Schmidt, Staff Writer

Positivity. This can be a hard thing to come by and a hard thing to hold onto with everything going on in the world.

As a high school student dealing with virtual learning and crazy schedules, school can feel extra challenging. The same goes for teachers, who are learning how to teach students at home and in the classroom.  Everyone has struggles, but keeping a positive attitude and good energy benefits yourself and those around you. 

One teacher who brings positivity everyday is Mrs. Connelly. You may know her as your English teacher, co-worker, friend, or even just a friendly face in the halls of WHB. While juggling life with five kids at home she still remains positive and energetic in her classroom everyday.

Her ability to remain positive comes from being grateful.  She said, “I have worked elsewhere and in other fields. When I was a kid, I cleaned toilets at a public pool. I worked in retail and as an administrative assistant in college. When I started teaching almost 20 years ago, I was in another district. I taught from home when I had my children. Because of my diverse experiences, I appreciate that, while no job is perfect, WHB is a wonderful place to be.”

One thing that makes WHB so wonderful for Ms. Connelly is her students.  “I feel so fortunate to be able to work with students everyday. My students are good, kind, and nice. They make me proud to be their teacher,” she said.

The feeling is mutual. Junior Leila Reives said, “Mrs. Connelly makes it more fun and easier to learn because she really connects with us and wants us to succeed.”

Mrs. Connelly finds creative ways to keep her students motivated and intrigued.  She always always finds a way to bring excitement and light into the classroom and life.  Mrs. Connelly said, “For me, I think my students know that I consider them in everything I do – from the course expectations, to creating lessons, and assigning work – and then I consider me. I am loud. I like to sing. I use crazy references from my teenage years. I love true crime and podcasts and all things creepy. So, I like to think my students pay attention because they love a good laugh (often at my expense). I don’t mind, as long as they are engaged.”

Junior Vincent Pesce says, “Mrs. Connelly tries to get us more involved and make the classwork somewhat exciting. She’s ‘mad’ nice and has good energy.”

Other WHBHS teachers appreciate Mrs. Connelly’s outgoing attitude, kindness, and urge to help those around her.  English teacher Mrs. Mett said, “Mrs. Connelly inspires me to be a better teacher.  She is so tech-savvy and is always available to help her colleagues with Zoom problems or anything else.  Sometimes I wonder if she’s Superwoman!” 

Mrs. Connelly offered this advice to students about surviving this weird time. “To survive this pandemic in the classroom is to embrace your strengths. So, I like to try out new technologies and experiment with new ideas in the classroom to make it seem less ‘virtual’ and more ‘real.'” 

Mrs. Connelly is a dedicated teacher, who is always putting her students’ needs and goals first. Her positivity really impacts every person she comes across.  She never gives up on any of us, is always helping us to do our best, and motivates us with her words, (and of course candy!).