The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Teacher of the month: Emmalee Kenny

Photo by Clara Young
Ms. Emmalee Kenny proudly holds up her Teacher of the Month sign.

On a dreary school morning, 40 minutes of physical activity or awkward health topics could sound more appealing to the average student. Yet, the Physical Education and Health departments might have changed students’ minds with their new addition, Ms. Emmalee Kenny. Kenny teaches Health, Soccer and Foundations of Personal Fitness. Her bubbly personality and positive attitude have captivated students.

“Ms. Kenny has such a unique teaching and coaching style,” WCHS sophomore and JV cheerleader Anya Nagpal said. “She motivates all her students and athletes to be their best and is always there for them no matter what. She does not expect for her kids to be perfect; she expects for them to try their best.”

WCHS has an intense academic atmosphere, so Kenny has chosen to make her classroom a stress-free, enjoyable environment. She does this to foster relationships and trust between her and her students rather than being a teacher they fear or resent.

“[My favorite part of teaching is] building relationships with my students and watching them grow between August to September,” Kenny said. “Every student changes in high school. They grow every year. [And besides these,] I really just love talking and being nice to everyone.”

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Kenny has expressed her desire to create bonds with students. According to the University of Missouri, students who feel like they matter to their teachers are more likely to learn, and this is precisely what Ms. Kenny does: she cares for her students.

“As a teacher, Ms. Kenny has a lot of genuine care for her students,” Nagpal said. “She does her best to make sure every single one of her students are on the right track and always radiates positive energy throughout the school. As a coach, Ms. Kenny is out of school mode and focuses on creating an amazing athletic environment for her cheerleaders.”

Kenny is not only an excellent teacher but also an amazing coach as well. She brings her ‘love for learning’ attitude into both the classroom and her sport as she strives to build an uplifting atmosphere. Having grown up in Potomac, she attended WCHS herself and therefore has a stronger bond than most to the school.

“I graduated [from here] in 2017 and was on Varsity Cheerleading,” Kenny said. “I then went to UMD, where I was also a cheerleader for six years. When I got this job, it was perfect. I love cheerleading, and I really want to give my athletes a very positive experience in the sport.”

Being a cheerleader had always been an essential part of Kenny’s life, but being a teacher was not always what she wanted to do. She entered college as a Kinesiology major, expecting to become a physical therapist.

“I was not supposed to be a teacher going through college, but when COVID hit I found a really good masters program,” Kenny said. “My mom was a teacher, my grandma was a teacher, so I grew up helping out in schools. I knew it was meant for me when I found the program. I went along with it and I have had so much fun ever since.”

Kenny is grateful for the opportunities she received from her program. She also did an internship, which she still looks back on during moments of doubt. Kenny appreciates teaching subjects that are an integral part of students’ lives.

“Health [includes] topics that students carry with them forever,” Kenny said. “As a high schooler, some people are interested in math, science, etc. But in health, it does not matter what academics students are interested in as health talks about real life [experiences]. I want my students to remember that [we are] all humans at the end of the day, and it is very important to just be kind to everybody. Be inclusive, be kind and be a good person.”

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About the Contributor
Clara Young
Clara Young, Copy Editor
Clara Young is a WCHS senior and the Copy Editor for The Observer. This is her third year taking journalism. During her free time away from The Observer, Clara is usually at her soccer practice or reading a book. She loves spending time with her friends and watching horror movies.

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