Welcome Ms. Willer!
By: Shivani Handa
Since the pandemic began, a few new teachers have started at Apex High School. One of them is Social Studies teacher, Ms. Willer, who moved here earlier this year from Portland, Oregon. She joined the Apex High School community in the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year, taking over Mr. Cooper’s world history classes after his retirement.
This semester, Ms. Willer is teaching two classes of World History Honors and one class of World History. Her favorite unit of World History is the Ancient Worlds unit as well as teaching about past revolutions. “I really like talking about all the Ancient World because in that time you get to talk about all these diverse places, different civilizations, different people, and also all of the world religions.”
To obtain her qualifications to be a history teacher, Ms. Willer attended Oregon State University for college and earned two Bachelor’s Degrees, one in History and one in Education. She then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in History from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, followed by post graduate studies in restorative justice.
Ms. Willer wanted to become a history teacher because “…It seemed that I had the best relationships with my history teachers and… how engaging they were and how much care they showed to their students, it made me want to do that for other people.”
Before coming to Apex, Ms. Willer taught at alternative schools as well as online. This made her feel more confident about teaching online at the start of her time here, since she had prior experience. That’s not to say that online teaching and learning is without its challenges. “You really have to work on trying to build relationships with kids and get them engaged, which is a lot harder to do when you’re online. But then coming back here, I really enjoy seeing people’s faces again.”
As for her experiences teaching at Apex High School, Ms. Willer is thoroughly enjoying it. Her favorite part about teaching here is “definitely the community. Apex has a really strong community of students and my colleagues, who are really invested in the success of the school and the success of each other.”
However, Ms. Willer is more than just a history teacher. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes for cooking and baking. Another passion of Ms. Willer’s is gardening. “I like gardening…I’m trying to create a bee and butterfly garden at my house to attract a bunch of these like, little animals to my yard…I love to travel, too. To go see different places.”
Thank you Ms. Willer for being part of this article and have a great rest of the school year!