For many students, CHS brings to mind thoughts of stress, homework and tests. However, for CHS math teacher Stacy Felps, the high school brings one word to mind: home.
Felps has taught at the high school for 35 years. She began her teaching career at CHS and has taught here ever since. “When I started teaching I wasn’t drawn here. I didn’t even really know very much about Clayton. I knew that first year teachers weren’t hired in the Clayton School District, so I hadn’t really even thought about Clayton as being an option for me, but there were some people who watched me during my student-teaching that recommended that I get some attachment to the District,” said Felps.
Teaching has always felt natural to Felps. “I always knew that I was supposed to be a teacher. Even in grade school I was helping people with things they were struggling with, but it really became clear in college when I was taking physics and calculus and my dorm room became the room where everybody hung out because everybody just wanted to get help,” said Felps.
During her time at CHS, one thing Felps has focused on was helping new teachers feel comfortable and accepted. Because she was younger and less experienced than most of the other staff when she first arrived, Felps found it difficult to navigate the social aspects of being a teacher.
Felps has also put an emphasis on forming relationships with students during her time at the high school. One of her favorite things about being a teacher is hearing teenager’s perspective on the world. “I love the freedom that we have to form relationships with the students. I think [my favorite part about being a teacher] is just hanging out with young people and hearing what they’re excited about,” Felps said.
During her career, Felps has been able to teach a wide variety of courses, from Calculus AB to Algebra 2 to Geometry. “There is something about every course that we teach to be excited about and so I mean you can’t go wrong,” said Felps.
CHS has been Felps’s home for the past 35 years. “I started working here when I was 20 so every adult thing in my life that I’ve ever done has been while I worked here. So thinking of going forward and not having that piece of it feels really weird. As an adult I’ve never known anything different, so it’s really weird to think about not being here.”
“It’s like the passing of the torch. In a way, everybody’s my family and I want to make sure that we did it well enough that it can carry on””
— Stacy Felps
Felps is the senior faculty in the building. She has worked in the building longer than any other staff or faculty member. “I’ve been here longer than anybody else in this building. It’s like the passing of the torch. In a way, everybody’s my family and I want to make sure that we did it well enough that it can carry on.”