Quotes from Local Teachers

 “Bellingham Public Schools needs strong, innovative teachers in science, technology,  engineering and mathematics (STEM) to help fulfill The  Bellingham Promise. We promise to develop students and graduates who are scientists and mathematicians, skilled users of technology, innovators and creators… and so much more. We’re looking for the best teachers to inspire students within these disciplines that link to some of the fastest-growing occupations globally.” - Dr. Greg Baker, Superintendent, Bellingham Public Schools

 “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing the future of our world through the eyes of 8 and 9 year olds. They are learning to be global thinkers, creators, critical thinkers and compassionate human beings.  It's amazing and inspiring to witness by children who are so young.” - Amy Roselli, 3rd Grade Teacher, Happy Valley Elementary

 “I had a really positive experience in the Masters in Teaching program at Western. Our cohort was a tight group of people, many of whom I am still close with. We worked hard together and supported each other through some of the more challenging parts of becoming a teacher. I feel like the program helped get me ready for the steep learning curve that is the first few years of teaching. There is no way that you can leave a teacher prep program and know everything. Western helped me develop my philosophy of teaching, so I would know how to grow my practice in the first years of teaching.” - Malia McDowell, Science/Robotics/Computer Science Teacher, Horizon Middle School, WWU MIT Graduate

"I love when students get curious about a topic and ask their own questions. It is rewarding to help them answer these questions because students get so excited and go above and beyond what I imagine they might do. My elementary school students have been curious about and answered so many things, such as, "Do pill bugs prefer grass or sticks?" "What is the Oregon Trail?" "Will an ice cube weigh the same when it melts?" I find a lot of joy in teaching when students find wonder in the world, and explore their personal curiosities that pluck their heartstrings or tickle their brain."  - Michelle Hornoff, 5th grade teacher, Cordata Elementary School

"Saying yes to teaching is saying yes to our future.  When you think about industries that have a tangible and lasting impact on the world education has to be on the short list.  Educators show up every day and pour their hearts and souls into helping students know who they are and how they can contribute to the world.  The opportunity to participate in this journey with students is magical and can only happen if your heart is ready to make space for the growth and development of others." - Nick Hayes, Principal, Happy Valley Elementary School  

“Teaching science to middle schoolers is challenging, joyful and intense work. I love sharing the feeling of discovery when my students have some experience that helps them explain a phenomenon that we are investigating. I love when they have wrestled with a tough idea and come out the other side feeling exhausted but proud of their thinking. It isn’t always like this, but when we are learning the room sort of hums.” - Malia McDowell, Science/Robotics/Computer Science Teacher, Horizon Middle School, WWU MIT Graduate

 “For the right person, there is not a more satisfying job than being a teacher. Every day I make an impact on the growth and development of young people.  I know I am contributing to the scientific literacy of our population, which is a big deal considering the critical role science plays in creating a sustainable future.  Did I mention summers off for life? Summers off are amazing. And work-life balance is key to a long and happy career. Bottom line, I love my job. It's meaningful and engaging, and I am never ever bored. Kids are funny too.” - Sam Stoner, Science & Math Teacher, Whatcom Middle School, WWU MIT Graduate

“Middle school is a tough place to be, and it can sometimes be a tough place to teach. I often get the “you must be a saint” reaction from people who find out I choose to work with this age group, but I don’t see it that way. Yes they can be brutally honest, and sometimes we can’t really do school until we deal with some drama, but they have unmatched energy, they are curious, they are still deciding on who they can be. For me I feel like middle school is the perfect fit.” - Malia McDowell, Science/Robotics/Computer Science Teacher, Horizon Middle School, WWU MIT Graduate

 “I currently teach 8th grade Science and AVID at Mount Baker Middle School in Mount Vernon. Teaching Science is one of the most rewarding things you can devote your life to. It is very emotionally taxing and you should be prepared for days where it feels like you’ve failed in all aspects of job. However, the feeling of changing someone’s life in a positive way, either through expanding their understanding or providing emotional support and encouragement, is without rival. The advice I would give to any teacher is that your subject is important, but it is less important than being there for a young person that needs you, and the one thing you will find out almost immediately is that every one of your students will need you in some capacity. My experience at Western was one of the most positive milestones of my life and prepared me for the wide variety of challenges helping young people become who they want to be. Western gave me a place where I could explore my interests as well as discover new passions. Before my time at Western I had no real interest in sciences other than Biology. Western fueled my desire to learn more about Biology while also exposing me to the professors that opened the door to enjoying other scientific endeavors such as Chemistry and Geology. I developed a very strong relationship with a specific Chemistry teacher during my time at Western that reinvigorated my love for science as well as my love for learning in general. Without the people and programs at Western I would not have realized my passion for teaching or achieved my goal of spending my career helping young people.” - Greg Pennington, Science/AVID Teacher, Mount Baker Middle School