English teacher Ms.Sippel reflects on what’s to come


Kadee Green, Staff Reporter

As she looks back on her 39 years of teaching, Pamela Sippel, an English teacher at Cherokee Trail, reflects on how much she has learned from the many students that have filled her classrooms. “It’s commonly the interaction with students that I benefit from because wisdom does not always come with age,” said Sippel, “It’s oftentimes sitting in a class of teenagers.” 

In her many years of teaching, Ms.Sippel has taught in many different settings, including schools in Texas, Tennessee, Highlands Ranch, and then Cherry Creek, with middle and high schoolers having been her students. Despite the many settings, she has always stuck with teaching English, which has been her love for many years. 

In her years in high school, Sippel was an outstanding student, but not for the right reasons. She excelled in the subjects she enjoyed, such as English, and fell behind in others, such as home economics. School seemed to be at the back of her mind, and she was typically messing around in class instead of learning. “I was one of those kids who liked to be the class clown, and that often got me in trouble.” Said Sippel. 

She now helps students excel in her classes as she attempts to keep them on track through her “strict” teaching style, “It allows kids to feel safe, because they know my expectations and exactly what behavior I won’t allow.” Said Sippel. Her teaching style causes some controversy through her classes, but a number of teens find it has bettered them as students, and helped them throughout their other classes. “Ms.Sippel has really held me accountable with all of my work,” said sophomore Kennedy Brian, “Her due dates have taught me better time management and the importance of staying on top of your work”. And although some students see her only as a teacher, Sippel cares for every student with a passion deeper than that of teaching. As she spends time in the classroom she focuses on education but also makes sure she helps create well rounded individuals, and makes sure her students are excelling beyond the classroom. “Ms. Sippel puts her whole heart and energy into everything she does.  She really cares about students as individuals first, and about their learning, second” said her teaching partner, Rene Feil. 

With her retirement quickly approaching, Sippel is not completely leaving teaching behind her. She owns a non-profit horse ranch which she has big plans for. She is currently finishing her certification as an equine facilitated learning practitioner, which she will use to help kids and teens learn skills through her horses, “I could be working with a student who has autism or socialization skills through my horses. It’s not riding lessons, it’s doing groundwork and communicating with the horse. And by communicating and interacting with the horse, you are then able to carry those skills back into whatever you’re working on.” Said Sippel. She hopes to allow these students more opportunities for learning that may be more beneficial for their minds, and bring more inclusion throughout her ranch. “Inclusion is huge for me and I can do that, and I can embed inclusion and diversity into my daily work with horses, kids, and adults,”

For the last 39 years, Ms. Sippel’s wisdom has grown and she will carry it with her well into retirement, “In life we know that things are gonna happen. Every single one of us knows we’re going to have bad days and tragedies are going to occur. There will be a struggle, that we are assured of. There’s that time of grief and there’s that time of tears, but there’s also the time to reflect and say, ‘What’s my walk away?’ Just like we do with literature. Find that walk away and apply it for good in order to move on in life.” 

As she wraps up this chapter of her life, Sippel leaves the doors of Cherokee Trail with hope for creating new learning opportunities for kids through her horses. After all these years Ms.Sippel is continuing to make a difference in the lives of many people throughout the community, and hopes to continue for many years to come.