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VHHS Alumni Spotlight: Stacey Reimann '14
VHHS Alumni spotlight - Stacey Reimann, Class of 2014
Year graduated from VHHS:
College and/or job where you are currently located:
University of Chicago graduate 2018, current Fulbright Scholar in Santiago de Compostela, Spain as an English teaching assistant
How long have you been there:
September 2018 until June 2019
Which classes at VHHS best prepared you for what you are doing now:
Of course, studying Spanish all the way through the Spanish 5 class gave me the skills, interest, and confidence to be able to move and teach in Spain after college. The higher level Spanish classes at VHHS helped me not only master the technical parts of the language, but also the cultural and social parts which allow me to better immerse myself into a local Spanish community.
Regarding my preparedness for college and the job itself, the We the People program instilled in me a strong cultural consciousness. The program encourages students to not only be aware of the social, cultural, and political climate of their community, but also that of communities both across the country and abroad. The Fulbright program sponsors scholars to be cultural ambassadors for the United States government, where it is my job to share my experiences as an American to those in Spain. In college, I exposed myself to as many new experiences as possible to grow my comfort zone and knowledge as wide as possible. I feel We the People inspired me to welcome such experiences and be the most educated citizen of the world around me.
Lastly, taking AP Language as a junior felt like the most transformative academic experience I had while at VHHS. The curriculum demand students to redefine how they read and write. Entering college confident in my reading and writing abilities allowed me to be a contributing voice in the classroom, no matter how difficult the course was. The class was also an excellent test of my own dedication to academic growth, because the material is heavy and intense, but comes with noticeable progress. I encourage any student wanting to take the class to prioritize fitting it in their schedule.
Who was your favorite teacher and why:
The teachers I had at Vestavia—really across the board—are what I think gives Vestavia its edge over similar schools. Asking me to pick a favorite is like asking me to pick my favorite Harry Potter book—there’s no objectively right answer. A few teachers taught me lessons I will always hold close to me. Mrs. Jerona Williams (Math—retired) taught me about personal strength, universal compassion, and unwavering positivity. I hope VHHS continues to hire teachers of such rich diversity and genuine perspective. Mr. Sinnott (English) showed me how stories are reflections of life, and the more I understand myself, the more I can appreciate the good, the bad, and the beautiful in life. Mrs. Jordan (Spanish) showed me the power the role of the teacher can really play in a classroom. The belief she has for her students brings out the best versions of themselves every time they step in her room. I feel so lucky to have been a product of that. And lastly, Mrs. Maddox (History, We the People) exhibited selflessness in a way that I think about everyday. I honestly ask myself: WWAD—What Would Amy Do. She teaches about history and mankind with the most exciting balance of cynicism and hope, where cynicism asks the questions that hope then answers. After having been taught by the best out there, I am excited to be a teacher this year and pass on their lessons to my own students.
How did VHHS help you get ready for life after high school:
VHHS gave me the confidence to take my passions and opinions, believe in them, and make something of them. The administration and the faculty respond so well to student’s ideas for change or improvement, which is unfortunately rare at other schools. Being able to voice my opinions and be heard prepared me for having a confident voice in college. The opportunities VHHS offers really does encompass a wide range, and are constantly growing. I am happy to have come back to a wider diversity of students, expansion of academic courses, and an increased acceptance of ideas, identities, and cultures. There is still room for improvement, as that diversity is what will most prepare students for success after high school, and I am excited to see the school’s growth moving forward.