For Wangerin, Second Time Is a Charm

Returning upper school history teacher Ms. Hollie Wangerin already has made her mark on the upper school.

As part of their summer reading, Wangerin’s World History courses constructed a timeline on bright blue and yellow tape running throughout the school hallways.  Students used the tape to construct a timeline beginning 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang and ending in the present.

Wangerin, who returned to Stratford this year, previously taught at the Academy during the 1990s.  In addition to World History, Wangerin also is currently teaching 9th grade geography.Events from First Week of School: Auditions, Ambassadors, and Agenda

Wangerin started teaching at the Academy in 1991, when she accepted her first full-time teaching job.  She graduated from West Georgia College and the University of Georgia, where she received her master’s degree in history.

“I’ve always been a curious person. I like knowing about things and then I like helping other people learn about things,” Wangerin said of her inspiration for teaching.

Wangerin, who has three children at Stratford, has been a stay-at-home mom for the past 17 years, but frequently substituted at the Academy in her free time.

When upper school history teacher Ms. Alex Hill decided to take a new job at the Brookstone School last spring, Wangerin — who said that almost from the beginning she fell in love with Stratford’s enthusiasm and traditions — decided that it was time to start teaching again and applied for the open position.

“She had the best answers in the interviews and fitted better in what we want to do here at Stratford.  She was certainly more open to the way we want those classes to be taught,” said History Department Chair Mr. Mike Kelley,  who interviewed Wangerin and observed her while she taught a class.

After interviewing several candidates Kelley and Upper School Principal Ms. Margaret Brogdon decided that Wangerin was the best teacher for the position.

Kelley added that she has done well in the new job.

“She’s doing a lot of creative things. I think Mrs. Wangerin is a great addition to Stratford. I think what she has done is great, and I’ve enjoyed working with her,” Kelley said.

Her students seem to agree.

“I think she’s a good teacher.  Her teaching style is very unique,” said Ellie Peterson, a student in Wangerin’s freshman world geography class.