Inspiring students for 22 years

Social studies teacher Wendy Seeliger is awarded Harmon’s Teacher of the Year


Courtesy of Ann Miller.

Global events, advances in technology and new discoveries being discussed in the geographic poster-covered classroom during a Junior World Affairs Council meeting. For social studies teacher Wendy Seeliger, the last 22 years have been spent educating students in this classroom and ones similar. Seeliger has dedicated the past two decades to fulfilling her passion for teaching while educating leaders of the future.

“Twenty two years of graduating students who have gone on to really make something of themselves,” Seeliger said. “Not all went to college, but all are contributing to society and [that’s] end goal. To develop happy, thriving individuals who contribute to making the world a better place no matter what they choose as their careers. I am proud of leaving a legacy.”

Seeliger was awarded the 2018-2019 Harmon Teacher of the Year by her colleagues. Seeliger’s drive toward providing her students the best possible learning experiences has not been overlooked and is what earned her the award; she has a strong passion for her career and her students.

She cares about her students and goes out of the way to find activities that are meaningful and make connections with them,” physics teacher Therese Stockard said.

Although teaching wasn’t a career Seeliger believed would be in her future, she took the opportunity that was presented to her, which was doing something she really loved.

She cares about her students and goes out of the way to find activities that are meaningful and make connections with them,”

— Therese Stockard

“I needed a job, but once in, I was hooked,” Seeliger said. “I like my subjects; social studies is awesome and I like my colleagues and students. When you are seeking a career you need to like what you are doing, and in my classroom I really like what I am doing.”

Taking the teaching route led Seeliger to be able to travel the world to places such as Beijing, China. Living in China gave Seeliger the teaching experience of lifetime, as well as memories she will forever cherish and be able to share with her students. While in China, Seeliger taught English classes to help her students be able to understand and eventually be fluent in the language.

“Grocery shopping was an [interesting] experience and I got really good at charades,” Seeliger said. “[I] had to figure a new one for coffee since they kept taking me back to the tea aisle. I had no car, no cell phone, no Mandarin background, but I jumped in the deep end with both feet and made it to the surface.”

Seeligers passion for teaching is inspiring to colleagues and also the students who enter her classroom every day in anticipation to learn something new. Seeliger has shown students what they can achieve by broadening their views on what the world has to offer.

“Seeliger was definitely the best teacher I’ve ever had,” senior Ester Nascimento said. ”She changed my view about different things in the world. She was actually the teacher who got me involved with [JWAC], and she’s also the teacher who inspired me to major in political science and go into the international fields.”

I am proud of leaving a legacy,”

— Wendy Seeliger

Receiving the Teacher of the Year award surprised Seeliger. She was so busy attending other duties she did not know she would eventually be the one receiving Teacher of the Year.

“It is very flattered and appreciated, I was not expecting it; in fact, I procrastinated getting the paperwork in because I had other more pressing things to do and Mr. Fontana kept bugging me, the rest is history,” Seeliger said.