People to Know: Mrs. Lee

Claire Hoffa, News Writer

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Thousands of people roam the hallways of Apple Valley High School everyday. Most of them are under the age of eighteen; the rest are over twenty-two. It is nearly impossible to get to know everyone in the four years we spend here, but the people you do meet and get to know have the ability to change your life.

Mrs. Lee changed mine.                

She teaches Honors Chemistry, a junior-year course, and spends the first two hours of the day in the Fab Lab; not very many people have the opportunity to have her as a teacher. In fact, less than a hundred and fifty people every year choose to sit in Room 203 and learn from one of the greatest teachers in Apple Valley High School.

So this article is for all the people that have yet to have her or will never have her. It may also give some insight to those students that do have her as a teacher because there is so much more than meets the eye.

In high school, she enjoyed running…although she argues that running is NOT a sport. “It is an athletic competition. [You are] not trying to protect some random object from a ball rolling into it; [running] is an actual competition in terms of your abilities.”

After high school, she went to St. Olaf because she liked the strong science program (she was pre-med) and she knew if science didn’t work out, the school had strong academic programs in other areas. So to capitalize on this, she majored in chemistry and English. She also participated in the athletic competition called cross country.

Then she did the coolest thing ever:  she took a gap year. Well, first she spent a few months working in a lab doing boring experiments before she realized she wasn’t ready for a real job. So with her then-boyfriend, now-husband they jetted off to New Zealand. She says she just wasn’t ready for a real job, and New Zealand had the longest work visa, so she spent twelve months working and traveling around the country.

“We didn’t get an opportunity to travel abroad during college because of my double major, and we wanted the opportunity to do something different in our twenties. We felt we weren’t ready for careers, but we were willing to work. We chose New Zealand because we knew people there that could cook us meals sometimes and made the best brownies.”

It was during this time that she decided she wanted to be a teacher. When she got back, she worked at Visitation, Eagan, and then eventually Apple Valley High School. (She is quoted as saying AVHS is her favorite high school that she has worked at.)

Her passion in the classroom is next to none. Senior Silas Anderson, a student who independent studies AP Chemistry with Mrs. Lee, said, “I have never had a teacher who has actually cared about my success as a student and person as much as Mrs. Lee. She connects with students and her teaching style makes students care about chemistry and motivates them to succeed. Hands down best teacher I’ve ever had.”

Whether teaching about chemistry or life, Mrs. Lee has always had a positive impact on students. “She always brightens up the room whenever she is teaching. She makes chemistry fun!” junior Henry Dikeman said. By making the material fun, she can make kids want to learn and, in turn, be successful.

My best advice is to take Honors Chemistry so you have the chance to meet Mrs. Lee for yourself. But, if that doesn’t work, at least now you know the basics of Mrs. Lee.

Finally, here are some fun facts that will only add to Mrs. Lee’s coolness factor:

  •      Favorite board game: German board games, Qwix
  •      Favorite TV Show: Gilmore Girls
  •      Favorite color: Red
  •      Favorite food: Strawberries and/or Indian or Greek food
  •      Favorite vacation: New Zealand
  •      Favorite store: Loft
  •      Worst job: Painting houses
  •      Family: Husband Erik, daughter Amelia, and son Elliot
  •      Life Lesson: More to life than a conveyor belt
  •      Personality Type: INTP- “Same personality as Einstein”
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