Spotlight Teacher of the Year Announced

Summer Folwell, Staff

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Chemistry teacher Jennifer Wuellner stands in front of her class teaching a new topic to her students. She doesn’t notice as Principal Rebecca Denton, and Associate Principal Kyle Parsons walk in the room. In the next moments, they present her the Teacher of the Year Award for the 2021-2022 school year..


“It took me a few moments to figure out why they were there,” Wuellner said. “The award completely caught me by surprise.  I never expected to receive this honor.  It has been nice to receive the recognition after years of pouring into students.”

Jennifer Wuellner posed at banquet.
Photo courtesy of Cypress Falls


Growing up, Wuellner had thought about teaching, but she never considered it a real option. She enjoyed chemistry, so when she went to college at Texas A&M, she decided to major in Chemistry. After graduating though, doubts grew in her mind about her career. 


“In the back of my mind was teaching,” Wuellner said. “I decided one day to go over to the College of Education and talk to them. As soon as I set foot in the door, I knew that was where I was supposed to be. I can’t really explain it. I stayed at Texas A&M one more year, worked in Bryan, and got my teaching certification.”


In 1996, Wuellner started off her teaching career at Cypress Falls High School working in Physical Science. After her first year, she was moved to her subject of choice teaching chemistry at all levels and has been ever since.


“It was my calling,” Wuellner said. “I enjoy watching [students] learn and gain an understanding of the world around them. Not only do they learn, but I learn. Nearly every day, I learn something new. I love how students come up with random questions and new ways to solve problems. Students push me to be a better teacher and a better person.”


During her year as a newly established teacher, Wuellner was also introduced to the Science Olympiad program. 


“The department chair at the time oversaw [Science Olympiad] back then,” Wuellner said. “She asked me to coach the Experimental Design [event] and I was hooked. In 1998, I took over as head coach. [Growing up,] we did not have a Science Olympiad. [Instead,] I was very active in the Science Fair at my school. In fact, I took first place [at] State in Chemistry as a junior. ”


Due to the lack of educational opportunities she faced as a student, Wuellner wanted to become a Dual Credit teacher. However, that would pose a challenge for Wuellner, because in order to become a Dual Credit teacher, she must get a master’s degree. 


“I had always wanted to get one, however, I had been raising my children as a single mother,” Wullner said. “During Covid, I prayed about it and felt the Lord telling me to go for it. I enrolled  in Ohio University’s online program in August 2020. In December 2021, I completed the program. For the past year and a half, I have been taking a college course every 7 weeks. That was quite a challenge for me as I was still teaching full time.”


Although Wuellner faced many difficulties as a single mother, it made her, as Wuellner said, “a better teacher.”


“[Because of my children,] I have a greater understanding of the struggles that high schoolers face both in and outside of the classroom. [Also,] completing my masters online while teaching, caused me to better understand what students go through in today’s world with online material and submissions.”


Wuellner’s influence exists both inside and outside of the classroom. In the classroom, Wuellner gives her students what she believes is the best teaching she can provide. Outside of the classroom, Wuellner dedicates much of her free time to being the head coach to the school’s Science Olympiad and volunteering with her church as she’s done for the past 18 years.

Ms. Wuellner is genuine, dedicated and passionate,” Principal Becky Denton said. “Without a doubt, Cypress Falls is better because of Jennifer Wuellner.”