Welcome, Weiss!


Provided by Ms. Weiss

Caroline McConnico, Managing Editor

Those that can’t, teach. Right? Not first-year English teacher Jillian Weiss. For Weiss, teaching English is something she’s known she has wanted to do. This year, she has achieved her goal: teaching high school students and emphasizing the importance of understanding the world around them. 

“This is my first year teaching in a public high school,” Weiss said. “I taught writing courses for Duke Tip for five summers, and through that experience, I knew that I loved to teach.”

Weiss said that after the Duke TIP summer camp program officially ended, she discovered that she wanted to be an English teacher.

“After staring sadly at that future, I decided that I should make teaching my full time occupation,” Weiss said. 

 This year, that dream has become a reality. With only three months of public high school teaching under her belt, Weiss said that Reynolds has already affected her in so many ways.

“Teaching at Reynolds has been a life-changing experience in the sense that it has impacted so many aspects of my life,” Weiss said. “Teaching here has humbled me and driven me to pursue excellence. Teaching here has made me feel part of the greater community in a way that I have never felt before.”

These favorable feelings regarding her time at Reynolds are indeed reciprocated. Weiss’ students express their love for her teaching style and her caring personality.

“She’s very sweet,” freshman English student Jackson Gallimore said. “She seems to know a lot about writing and how to grade writing and just give you helpful insights on how to improve your writing.”

According to Weiss, relationships with students like Gallimore come naturally.

“Some connections happen accidentally,” Weiss said. “When you go through a lockdown with a classroom full of students, you become connected by the experience, even if you never talk about it.”

Weiss’ kindness might stem from the love she has for the subject she teaches.

“My highly biased opinion is that English is the most important school subject,” Weiss said. “It is the study of stories, and telling stories is how we learn about the world and understand our own lives. Learning how to tell your own story is both therapeutic and empowering.”

Looking forward, Weiss hopes to continue teaching at Reynolds as long as it continues to foster her personal growth as a teacher and individual.

“I plan on being here for as long as I can continue to be challenged, inspired, entertained, and retain the quality of life that I have envisioned for myself,” Weiss said.