Tribute to Mrs. Whitley


Roberto Sandoval, Author


It is what someone does in their life that makes them special. Their ways of being can cause others to feel welcomed, whether it is the kindness of their heart, how helpful they are towards others, or simply because they are great human beings overall. Many of these people are teachers great teachers that care about their student’s learning. 

AE News would like to honor one of the greatest math teachers, Mrs. Whitley. She currently teaches students at Sycamore Junior High School who really have enjoyed being in her classroom. We created a survey that was sent out to students regarding their great experiences with Mrs. Whitley. The students had plenty of good things to say.

When one of the students was asked what their best experience with her was, he responded, “I think that my best experience with her was that she helped a lot when I first started on her class and she didn’t care about the fact that I didn’t have my English developed.” He also stated that she had always believed in them and would push them to keep doing good. Another student stated that their favorite experience was that she made math enjoyable, especially when she would make her math classwork in teams.

We noticed a similarity between all of the responses. The students mentioned how they liked how she greeted them at the door before they entered the classroom. Everyone who answered the survey also said that she always helped them step by step. Mrs. Whitley prioritized her student’s learning, and she made them feel welcomed. Those are the teachers that students get attached to.

Adding on, the students were asked to use words to describe Mrs. Whitley. They all had very similar responses. They said things like, “wholesome, caring, kind, sweet, helpful, understanding and amazing.” Those are indeed some great words to hear.  

Mrs. Whitley was then interviewed. We first asked what her favorite thing about teaching at Sycamore Junior High School was. She said to us, “I love the students and other teachers and staff at Sycamore.  Sycamore teachers are very caring and supportive and always willing to help, and our students are a joy to get to know.  It is a pleasure to go to work each day.” Then we asked what some things that she dislikes about teaching are. Her response was very wholesome, one of the most wholesome we have heard. “I dislike not getting to see my students face to face (during the pandemic), and I don’t like rainy days because students get wet, and then they are cold, and it’s hard for them to focus on doing their work,” she said. 

 Whitley told us, “I was a substitute at Sycamore for 10 years before I started working as a full-time teacher, and I always felt welcome by both students and teachers.  The staff is friendly and supportive, and that makes working more enjoyable. Helping my students learn math and knowing that they are prepared for high school is very rewarding. As I mentioned before, I was a substitute for 10 years. Sycamore was my favorite school to sub at, and I worked here 90% of the time, and I have taught math full time for 22 years.” She then shared words to describe the staff by saying, “Caring, friendly, welcoming, nice, supportive.  These words describe staff, students, and the school in general.”

We all want to give you a big thank you, Mrs. Whitley. This tribute is to honor and thank you for all the times you were willing to help us when we needed it when you pushed through your days to help our education. Thank you for always being very kind to us and being a part of the Sycamore family for all these years. We want you to know that we cherish you and always keep in mind that you are one of the greatest teachers ever to exist. Your way of being and your hard work that you put in through the years has definitely paid off; you deserve nothing but the best in life. Remember that your students, family, and peers will always be there for you; you hold a special place in everyone’s hearts. Once again, thank you, Mrs. Whitley!