Vokally’s peers select her as Teacher of the Year


English teacher Rachel Vokally works with her second period sophomores. Vokally has taught English at WF for four years and has taught 11 years overall.

Hannah Kinstle, News Reporter

This year English teacher and Intervention Coordinator Rachel Vokally won the teacher of the year award after her fourth year of teaching here.

Throughout Vokally’s years of teaching, she has learned a few helpful tips to build connections with her students and to teach them efficiently.

“I think it’s easy for teachers to become a little complacent and rinse and reuse the same lesson plans that they have created. I have always been the type to, each semester, once I get to know my kids, make sure that I am adapting and changing my lessons,” Vokally said.

Along with being an outstanding English teacher Vokally helps students who are failing and gets them back on track.

“I think being a teacher means that you want to see students be successful, and in the big picture, hopefully, be even more successful than you. So my attitude is that I can’t let a kid who I’m responsible for fail even if it means pushing them harder than they want to push themselves,” Vokally said.

A majority of teachers think very highly of Vokally, as shown by her winning the award. Winning the award has made her reflect on her teaching practice.

“I will say that when I first started teaching, I thought that I had all the answers, that I knew everything and that my job was to just make sure students knew everything that I knew. Something that changed is that I realized is that I learned more from them sometimes than they learn from me,” Vokally said.

Not only does Vokally do the most to help out other students, she also shares tips and resources with other teachers she works with.

“Well it’s all the things that she does. She’s not just a classroom teacher. She’s an intervention coordinator. Just from a tenth grade teaching perspective, when she came to our school, she was willing to share all of her resources to help all of us get better, so it’s not just what she does in her classes but it’s what she does for all of us,” Bettina Pope said.

It has always been a goal of Vokally’s to be the best teacher she can possibly be and to help her students the most she can.

Vokally said, “When I was 21 years old, in my last semester of college, my mentor told me to create a list of 100 things I wanted to do before I died. I thought it was going to be so easy to create this list, but 100 things is difficult. The number one thing I wrote up there was to become an effective teacher, and I had won teacher of the year, at my previous district, and my friend at the time who co-taught English two with me she said ‘Oh you can cross that off your list now you are effective,’ and I just felt weird about it. I’m not done teaching, so I don’t really want to cross it off. So, I think that it was nice to win it, but I guess it’s a goal for me to just be good at my job and being good at my job is just being effective.”