The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

Recognizing WHS’ women in STEAM

Photo by Gianna Puglisi
Industrial Arts Teacher Gina Reynolds in the woodshop with the table saw

In honor of Women’s History Month, there is no better time to highlight women dominating in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Here at WHS, women make a big impact in STEAM, teaching subjects ranging from biology to engineering and serving as leaders for STEAM students and workers of the future. Let’s take a look at some of the women in STEAM of the community.

Science: Molly Dennis has taught science in Westfield schools for 22 years. From middle school to high school, she has made a profound impact in Westfield’s science department, earning the WHS Distinguished Teacher of the Year award in 2017 and the PTSO Teacher of the Year Award in 2021.

“For so long, women were overlooked for their accomplishments and didn’t even have a chance to participate in some of these things,” Dennis said. “It’s really important to celebrate what women can and should have been doing all along.”

Technology: As the district systems administrator and the main source of technological support for teachers and students, Jodi Anderson is an unsung hero here at WHS. Anderson is also the only woman on the technology staff and has been for the last 20 years of her 24-year-long career. Anderson is a firm believer in the significance of representation and noted, “For students to see women in the tech field is important.”

Engineering: Engineering Teacher Laura Doyle, who provides students with an immersive experience of engineering-focused courses that spark creativity, said, “We design objects. We design products. And women are going to be half the users for these products, most likely. So, if their voices aren’t part of the design process, we’re essentially losing really valuable information there.” Doyle has taught at WHS for six years, and just last week, she received a Teacher Excellence Award at a national conference in Memphis, TN by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association.

This Women’s History Month, Doyle advises young women who are pursuing careers in engineering to “keep at it” and “make connections with anybody in your classes and in your field that you feel can help you grow.”

Arts: Industrial Arts Teacher Gina Reynolds believes that “a diverse community in the STEAM field will only serve to benefit its growth.” Reynolds has taught at WHS for four years, leading students through different levels of innovation in woodwork and architectural technology.

Reynolds believes that women’s increased involvement in STEAM will improve both the individual and the community as a whole. “Get involved, share your ideas, and watch how fast you thrive and, as a result, how the STEAM community will as well.”

Mathematics: Another long-time teacher of WHS is Math Teacher Zorana Culjak, who has been impacting students for 23 years. Outside of the classroom, Culjak oversees the Community Service Club, improving our Westfield and surrounding communities.

“If you study math, you are a problem solver,” said Culjak. “In mathematics, you’re going to have to train your thinking process and mindset in the way that you are going to have to solve many different problems.”

This March, we celebrate women of WHS and across the world who contribute to the STEAM community.

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