By: Stephanie Cannon
Teaching was the profession that Mrs. Shirley Wold, one of the AP Biology teachers here at Newnan High School, knew was meant for her even when she was a little girl.
When she was seven years old, she received a chalkboard for Christmas and was always the teacher when she and her friends would play. She realized that being a teacher would allow her to have more positive interactions with students just like the ones she had with the teachers who had made such a great impact on her while attending high school.
Although she teaches at Newnan now, her first few years in a teaching position began in 1989 at Whitney High School, the school from which she graduated. Whitney High School is a public, college preparatory high school, and each of its students plans to attend a university or a military academy after graduation. It has been rated one of the top ten schools in the nation, and the book “School of Dreams” by Edward Humes was written to describe all of the positive traits of her school.
Her move to Newnan in 2005 to be closer to her sister, one of the remaining members of her immediate family while most of her extended family members live in the Netherlands, signified more than just a major change for Mrs. Wold and her husband.
This move would also produced one of her favorite moments of being a teacher. On her last day in California, a caravan of cars came rolling up to her front door. These cars were filled with many of her former students, many of which had already graduated, who had come to tell her how great of an impact she had made in their lives before they told her their goodbyes.
While there are many struggles to being an AP Biology teacher, such as covering all of the course material required in the short time allotted and some of the problems that may arise in labs such as the DNA fingerprinting lab, the bacterial transformation lab in which students genetically engineer bacteria to glow in the dark and the animal behavior lab, she says that nothing is quite as exciting as seeing a student grow.
She loves seeing students grow to take more intellectual risks and grow into adulthood. Another favorite moment of hers is seeing students navigate through a course they never thought they could complete and having those “A Ha!” moments.
In her free time, Mrs. Wold enjoys spending time with her rescue dog, Bella, as well as her husband and daughter, Gianna. She also loves watching movies such as “The Princess Bride” and reading books including “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.
Although she has an eclectic taste in music and enjoys music from all genres, being an 80’s child, she will always have a soft spot for any pop music from the 80’s.
Although Mrs. Wold did not start out here at NHS, she has come to love being a member of the faculty. She loves the climate and spirit of this school and that so much of the community is connected to it. She enjoys that she gets to teach diverse groups of students every year and that every year is a completely new adventure.