Teacher of April

By Abby Cross

The teacher of the month for April is Marilyn Fehringer. Fehringer is a math teacher here at SHS and teaches Algebra 1 and 2 as well as Geometry. She is also a senior class advisor. Fehringer has been a teacher for 24 years; teaching at every level except middle school.

“I wanted to be a teacher at Sterling High School because of the challenge of teaching high school after doing every other level,” she said.

She wanted to become a teacher in the first place because she wanted to empower others, which is what teachers do. The two people that influenced her the most in becoming a teacher were her third grade teacher and her mom.

“My third grade teacher made learning fun and my mom instilled the love of learning in me,” Fehringer said.

Her main goal for this year at SHS was to help students succeed while building a good math team. Her favorite part about teaching is witnessing the light bulb feeling that students have when they “get” what they are being taught.

“My favorite memory from teaching is when I walked into the final test of first hour in the second semester and knowing I had succeeded in teaching my students enough to move on to higher levels of math,” Fehringer said.

Outside of school, Fehringer enjoys doing stuff on her farm, dealing with her animals, camping and anything that has to do with her family. Her favorite holiday is Easter because of her strong relationship to her faith. Her favorite book is Little House on the Prairie and her favorite food is any kind of pizza.

“An interesting fact about me that none of my students know is that I rode a motorcycle in Thailand, as well as I faced down a cobra outside of my house while living there,” said Fehringer.

 

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Teacher of March

By Hannah Mildenberger

Although he may no longer be a teacher, Assistant Principal Mark Appelhans is the teacher of the month for March due to his sheer tenacity, perseverance and hard work for this school. He went to the University of Northern Colorado, Northern Junior College​, and Colorado Christian University.

Years ago, he taught at Campbell Elementary School for about seven years. He taught everything: math, reading and writing.

His main goal as a teacher was to have “successful students who learned as much as possible. My favorite part about teaching is that moment when a kid who was struggling with a subject finally got it.”

“I thought I was going to be a teacher after I retired when I was working somewhere else. I was involved in my son’s coaching and I enjoyed working with kids,” Appelhans said. “What influenced me most to become a teacher was when I was complaining about education to my wife and she said to do something about it instead of complaining about it.”

Appelhans’s favorite memory as a teacher was when he had an ornery student sitting up front while another student was messing with a bracelet. He confiscated it and put it on a shelf. When the day was closing and coming to an end, he noticed that the bracelet was missing. A third student said somebody took it.

“I looked right at the student and said that nobody was going home until they fessed up. That student jumped out of his seat and did just that. He fessed up,” Appelhans said.

Appelhans said, “A fun fact about myself, that most people don’t know, is that I like to do Karaoke and I’d say I’m a pretty good singer.”

He also enjoys doing home improvement projects on the weekends.

“My favorite holiday would be Independance Day, because on that day, I host a picnic with my family and friends,” he said.

His favorite book is Of Mice and Men and his favorite food is green chili.

Teacher of February

By Danessa Allen

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Due to Mistee Cartwright’s genuine concern for her students she has been chosen as February’s teacher of the month. Cartwright has been an English teacher at Sterling High School for a total of 13 years. Cartwright says that there are plenty of reasons why she decided to teach at SHS. She stated, “This is where I went to high school, and I don’t know, something inside me was telling me to go back to the high school. When I first applied for a teaching position it was over at the middle school, and I got offered the job right away. However, I also interviewed for a job at the high school. I started getting worried when I didn’t get a call from the high school on the same day. Fortunately, I got a call from SHS the next day, and I was extremely relieved because I felt like I would connect better to high school students.”

Over the past 13 years, Cartwright has met hundreds of students, but no matter what student she was trying to teach, she has had the same goal since she first began teaching. “It’s the same goal I have every year, and that goal is to make a connection with my students to not only help them help them grow academically but emotionally and socially as well,” said Cartwright. As a teacher, she is often asked what made her want to be a teacher, and what sparked her interest in educating children. Cartwright says, “I don’t know really, ever since I was very young I’ve wanted to be a teacher. It was always something I stuck with, I chose to be an English teacher because I love to read, and English was always my favorite subject in school. So I just believed that sharing my knowledge with kids would be something I would really enjoy. I wanted to have a class that students could have fun, but would also learn something along the way.” Cartwright has many things that she loves about teaching, like meeting new students every year, but Cartwright, like most teachers, has one thing that she loves the most about her job, she says, “My favorite part of teaching is just to watch students grow over the four years that I know them and continue to watch them succeed after they leave SHS. There is something amazing about watching kids grow and seeing how much they accomplish after high school.”

Of course growing up in Sterling and going to SHS had a big impact on Cartwright when it came to what she wanted to do as a profession, “My high school English teacher, named Mary Smith, right here at SHS was the person who inspired me most to become a teacher.” Cartwright was motivated by her own high school teacher, and now she is motivating  her own students every day. Over the 13 years that Cartwright has been teaching she definitely made a lifetime of memories with her students and fellow staff. “We had a military day here at SHS a few years ago, and this was when the national guard set up their climbing wall and brought their personal helicopter. All the students participated in all the drills and worked together, and the staff also got to do quite a bit of bonding as friends instead of coworkers. I believe that it was one of the best days I’ve ever had as a teacher at SHS,” she stated.

Outside of the classroom there are many things that the students of SHS do not know about Cartwright. “I collect shopping bags, I have thousands upon thousands of bags and I collect them from all over the world, from all the different places I’ve traveled, and I think that it’s a pretty interesting collection,” she says. Cartwright is always a person who has had a genuine heart, and she has one thing that she loves to do more than anything. “Spending time with my family is the most important thing to me. Traveling is also a great pastime, but I think it doesn’t matter where you are going, but who you are with,” Cartwright says, and anyone who knows Cartwright is aware that she loves traveling all over the country, whether that is on a class trip, or just a trip with her family.

As an English teacher, Cartwright has a wide selection of novels and stories she enjoys but there is one author that Cartwright prefers over any other, and that is Tom Clancy. Cartwright also has many other favorite things, and one thing she thoroughly enjoys that nobody really knows are street tacos. Cartwright swears that there is nothing like a genuine street taco. Cartwright has been a very big part of SHS over the years , and she has made a lasting impact on the school. We’d like to thank Mistee Cartwright for her many years of teaching, and the many more to come!

 

Teacher of January

By Amarise Buanteo

Robert Busmente, Sterling High school government and world geography
teacher is January’s teacher of the month. He has been teaching for 15 years, with the
end of the this year marking 16 years. Busmente is also the high school’s football
coach.busmente
This year Busmente as a teacher hopes to help kids have a better understanding
of the subject. He really wants to see his kids be successful and he wants to help them
get there. He is really trying to help students grow as individual’s and go through the
process.
“Teaching in general, in high school just interested me,” Busmente said. “I also
was interested in coaching, so when I was in school I saw some of my teachers were
coaches and teachers so I was able to ask them. I liked how they were able to do both,
and they were good with kids as teachers. I don’t know why here. There was a job
opening and I grew up here.”
Busmente had a hard time just choosing one favorite part about teaching.
He said, “Interacting with kids. Being around them. Seeing them grow as
individuals and help them out.”
Busmente also had a hard time choosing one favorite memory as a teacher, but
when he choose one he said, “There are a lot of things I remember. When I found out I
got my job. I was on my own finally. I wasn’t a student teacher. You never stop
succeeding or failing you just keep going.”
Outside of school Busmente enjoys being a dad, traveling and spending time
with his family and friends. Also something that most students don’t know is that
Busmente enjoys doing is scuba diving.
Busmente enjoys reading many different types of books. The books that he
enjoys reading the most are political, historical and character coaching books. He reads
many different type of books but those are the ones that he enjoys reading the most.
Busmente’s favorite holiday would probably be Christmas. He enjoys Christmas
because the traditions that he has with his family and wife. He also enjoys Christmas
because his family comes down.
Busmente likes all types of foods, though his favorite foods are Asian and Indian
foods.
Busmente had many inspirations for why he wanted to become a teacher. He
watched most of his teachers in high teach but also coaches. He wanted to be able to
coach and also teach because he wanted to help his students succeed. He likes
coaching the football team because he used to play football in high school. He didn’t
really know why he wanted to teach here at SHS. There was simply job opening and he
grew up here. He was happy when he first found out he got the job as a teacher.
Busmente was happy he was finally able to do something on his own. He wasn’t the
helper anymore; he was able to have his own time with the students and teach them the
way he wanted too.

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Teacher of December

By Ethan Robinson

Kirby Feaver is the teacher of the month for December. She teaches the life science classes College Prep in Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology. Feaver got very interested in science later on, enrolling in a college science class meant for upperclassmen. She both excelled in this class and had great fun doing it. Feaver was originally an English major, but right then and there, she knew that she wanted to study science.

“I enjoy the challenge and the intrinsic reward you get for solving a problem,” Feaver added.

Feaver was previously at Sterling Middle School for two years, and before that for many years taught biology and chemistry at a high school in California. Feaver says the biggest differences between Colorado and California is the diversity of population density and environment.

Her all-time favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird, because of the lesson readers get from Atticus Finch that you have to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and walk in them. Feaver believefeavers this lesson to be so important for our world in that it emphasizes empathy for each other and our own individual differences and pains.

Feaver also mentioned 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, which she read when in the seventh grade. Although the novel has both good and bad science in it, Feaver said that what she took away from the book was doing something really different and exploring new places. This book and another factor made her really want to become a teacher.

The other factor was a professor in college, who took a bland textbook and had a way of making it so much more interesting. This professor made her feel like teaching really did matter.

Feaver mused, “Any person can pick up a book and read, but it takes someone who actually understands what they’re doing and has a real passion for it to truly come alive.”

She said this connects to the one thing she wants students to take away from her class. She personally knows how schoolwork can be frustrating, but she wants students to understand the invaluable lessons science has to offer in explaining how the world works.

“All of us should know how the world works,” Feaver said, “And once we understand how, we can begin to figure out why.”

A fun story Feaver shared with us is when she was on a campground in California. She was walking around the corner of a building and literally bumped into a bear walking the other way. The bear raised itself on its hind legs, as Feaver thought the wild animal would either tear her face off or run away. Luckily, the bear walked one way and Feaver walked the other. However, she was not yet completely safe, as campground staff who had heard the bear sprayed her with pepper spray soon after accidentally.

Nonetheless, beware students, of getting on Feaver’s bad side, because in her own words she has, “walked nose-to-nose into a bear and lived to tell the tale.”

Teacher of November

By Kirsten Hernandez

Nelson Schroeder, SHS U.S. history and Financial literacy teacher is November’s teacher of the month. Schroeder became a teacher because of his love for kids and the subject.

As a teacher this year Schroeder hopes to get his students excited about learning and help them better themselves. Schroeder started as a geography teacher then became the civics teacher and is now the U.S. history teacher.

Schroeder said, “My favorite part about being a teacher is interacting with my students and sharing my passion with them. I try to make my class interesting and use stories as illustrations.

Schroeder said, “I don’t have a single favorite memory. It’s when I get to see my students being successful a few years down the road, and they say to me that they enjoyed my class.”

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Schroeder with exchange student Amela Nevaljalovic holding the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina after a presentation of her country.

Schroeder became a high school teacher because of the age group, he said, “I became a teacher at the high school level because I enjoy this age group, they most often are more mature and learn faster. With high school students you get a chance to look at the subject more in depth.”

Schroeder has always wanted to become a teacher, he said, “My former teachers have really influenced me to become a teacher myself. They modeled to me what it’s like to be a good teacher. They really connected with me not just as a student but as a person. I try to make my classroom a place where everyone can be comfortable and be themselves.”

Schroeder estimates that he has taught 20 teachers within the district including Brad Hessler, Sarah Wernsman and Laura Clark from the high school, he said, “Having taught these now teachers it’s really cool to see them be successful, but at times it weird and makes me feel old. It takes time for them to rid the habit of calling me Mr. Schroeder but eventually they adjust”

Schroeder’s role models are former teachers, he said, “My former choir and social studies teacher were like father figures for me, they made me feel important. As a kid I was always a misfit and they always made me feel important.”

Outside of school Schroeder enjoys spending time with his family, reading, music and playing his guitar. Schroeder enjoys reading nonfiction and biographies, his favorite books are Teaching to Change Lives by Howard Hendricks and Was God on Vacation? by Jack Van Der Geest.

Schroeder graduated for the University of Northern Colorado with his teaching degree. He grew up in Philadelphia until 1982 when he moved to Colorado.

Schroeder’s favorite holiday is Christmas, he said, “On Christmas my whole family get’s together and we eat Christmas dinner, after we eat, we all sit around the table telling stories.”

Schroeder has two pets, a cat named Atticus and a dog named Taz. His cat is named after Atticus Finch from the book To Kill a Mockingbird and his dog is named after the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Toon’s.

Overall as a teacher Schroeder said, “I hope that my students will take away the lesson that your circumstances don’t dictate your outcome and that you can never have too much education.”

Teacher of October

By Kirsten Hernandez

Kayla Sherman joins SHS for her first year of teaching. This year Sherman is teaching pre-algebra, algebra and geometry. Sherman wanted to become a teacher because of her love for kids.

Last year, Sherman graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in biology. Although she doesn’t have a degree in math, she thought she was well equipped to teach math.sherman

On her free time Sherman enjoys to go running, hiking and traveling or anything outdoors.

Sherman said, “My favorite holiday is Christmas, because it’s a time you get to spend with your family and there’s great food.”

A fun fact that most students don’t know about her is that for her last year of college Sherman studied abroad in Thailand. Another thing that some may not know is that Sherman grew up and graduated in Sterling. Sherman has two pets, she has a dog named Ralph and a cat named Zip. Sherman said, “I became a teacher this year to help prepare students and to be a role model.”