SAN ANTONIO – Whitney Weddel graduated from East Central High School in 2013 and she never thought she’d ever come back to the campus, much less as a teacher.
“I did emergency medicine for almost 13 years,” Weddel said. “Then, I transitioned into teaching because I thought, what better way to help than (to) impart my knowledge to our future generation of health care providers.”
Weddel teaches health science technology at the high school and is the head of Career and Technical Education Department. To her students, Weddel is their cheerleader, tutor, mentor and inspiration.
“I’ve never really had a teacher (that) really motivates me to learn, and (caring for others) is something that I actually enjoy,” Giselle Vidas said. Vidas is days away from graduating and has her nurse aide and dental assistant certification.
“She can literally graduate next week… walk out and pick what job she wants, which I think is amazing,” Weddel said.
However, Vidas along with other students and district administrators said the certifications and lessons learned to truly care for those in need are because of the Weddel’s approach to teaching and selflessness.
“I’ve flown to Chicago and watched a student’s volleyball tournament or I’ve driven to Midland because a former) student needed support,” Weddel said. “They’re not students anymore. They’re my family. So that’s important.”
Within the last year, Weddel purchased a laptop and hotspot for a senior who didn’t have the necessary funds.
“Getting her a hot spot and a Chromebook from school was going to take a little bit, and she needed to continue to work on recovering those credits. She was on a time crunch, so, I bought her a computer and internet,” Weddel said.
For Weddel, supporting her students at any capacity comes naturally.
“I need them more than they need me, and if I can make it easier for them to succeed, I will. We all need a little help,” Weddel said. “I’m supposed to be teaching them compassion and empathy. I’m supposed to show them that, like with a little help, we can do great things. That’s part of my job.”
A job Weddel’s team said only a certain type of person can do.
Weddel hopes to continue teaching at East Central High School for years to come to continue educating the next generation of health professionals.