Out of all the teachers of Mt. Carmel High School, Ms. Debby Stenger stands out the most. From early morning to afternoon, she endures the torment of four large classes of children back to back. No matter how tired she is, or how rambunctious the students are, Ms. Stenger refuses to snap, addressing all conflicts rationally, garnering the respect of both students and teachers around her.
Teaching both regular and AP Chemistry, Ms. Stenger also struggles under a surfeit of labs, worksheets, and exams that she must constantly grade by herself. Unlike many other teachers on campus, she refuses to procrastinate, often staying as late as 6:00 p.m., almost four hours after school ends, to finish work. Additionally, Ms. Stenger opens those hours to all of her students, personally tutoring any student who is concerned or confused about the source material. No matter how far behind a student is with their work, Ms. Stenger remains patient, and opts to help the student through generous postponements and extra credit assignments. At her core, Ms. Stenger cares deeply for all her students, and pushes herself to allow them to succeed.
Her influence does not stop within the school grounds. Despite the copious workload, Ms. Stenger makes a strong effort to participate in her community. She achieves this through her roles as Key Club and Red Cross advisor for the high school. In these positions, she is required to contact several event coordinators, schedule community service events, and host blood drives. Her never-ending commitment to service stems from her genuine desire to help as many people as possible. So few other educators have committed themselves to such a large and admirable cause to such a grand extent as she has. For all of these reasons, Ms. Stenger is without a doubt, one of the most incredible teachers on campus.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.