University High Art History teacher finalist for teacher of the year

Posted at 5:49 AM, Feb 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-08 07:53:23-05

Arizona Athletics and KGUN 9 are proud to present the nominees for the Circle K Outstanding High School Faculty Award. 

Whitney Sheets of University High School is one of the nine finalists. 

She inspires her students to be passionate about art history. 

"I just love art history and I want the kids to love it too, said Whitney Sheets. "And they do, they're so enthusiastic and they just need a teacher to crack open and interest that they didn't realize was there."

She developed her passion for art history while at the University of Arizona. 

Now she is back at her alma mater, University High School, teaching art history to packed classrooms. 

"A love of art is something that always stays with you. I think it's evident in these students who have reached out or comeback or said hello, that they really feel that as well."

Art history at University High is an elective, but there is a waiting list just to get into one of her classes. It's a testament to her ability to inspire her students. 

"You can really see that passion when she lectures, said University High Senior Sophia Rightmer. "She always has little jokes. She always engages whenever she lectures." 

"I was completely wrong when I took the class," admits University High Senior J.D. Winger. "I found a new love, a new interest in it. I didn't know how interesting art could be. She really changed that for me." 

In just her sixth year teaching, Sheets is a finalist for teacher of the year.

She says it's an honor to be recognized, and says she would be blown away if she wins. 

"It would mean that people see art history as something that's meaningful in kids lives. That would be amazing."

The winner will be announced in early March.