Mrs. Whitfield

Rickdy Dycharoeun, Reporter

One of the craziest and funniest teachers that you probably do not know about at West Anchorage High School is Gabrielle Whitfield. She has been an orchestra teacher 17 years and is a West alum.

Whitfield strives to make orchestra the brightest diamond to shine.  She feels that even if the class doesn’t get the light she wants to make it an experience to remember. Whitfield explains her style of teaching as interactive and outgoing, which she uses to reach out to students. She says, “Most students in class are very shy and introverted.” Only having three periods to work with students, Whitfield has to fit everything she wants to teach and practice in a short time  while dealing with students at the same time.

Students feel that she is doing her job well and love the way she teaches the class. “There has never been a day that I have not felt uncomfortable in the class,” said Marco Estanol, a violinist in Whitfield’s 2nd hour orchestra. Estanol is well known but surprisingly he is not the best in the class; it’s how he carries himself that makes him shine. He says, “The only reason I’m like this is because of her.” Ethanol’s favorite thing that she does is her breaks and entertaining stretches and games during class. Whitfield does everything from trivia to crazy dances. “Rewards are key to keeping the kids from getting bored and tired of sitting in class,” says Whitfield.

Estanol feels that Whitfield really showed that you have got to accept yourself to be truly happy she shows it everyday. Estanol’s favorite memory of her is when she showed pictures of herself when she was in the same classroom and how happy she was aside from her many flaws. Overall Estanol feels grateful, happy and cherishes his time with her cause he only has one more year with Whitfield.

Esma Saiti agrees with everything that Estanol says but her experience was very different. Saiti didn’t have the social insecurities like most students in orchestra she just loved playing. Saiti was never afraid to talk to people but they were afraid to talk to her. Whitfield showed her how to get people in their comfort zone and help them have a better time in class. She found a different way to shine she became someone that you could trust and a helper in the class. Saiti says, “It’s because of her she taught me how to help and be more friendly towards people.”

Whitfield sees the different roles and how the students come together and help each other out. “I’m very proud of how my students turned out I see them many years from now and they are the same as if they were sitting in class,” says Whitfield. Whitfield plans to keep teaching until retirement and is now enjoying her job if there is one thing she wants from the school is that more students come to the concerts and programs support you classmates show them that they matter.