Karen Voelz, East Lee Middle School

Our latest Welcome To Sanford Teacher of the Week is Karen Voelz of East Lee Middle School. Ms. Voelz is a math teacher and has been a Rocket for four of her 24-year teaching career, all of which has been at Lee County Schools! She holds a Mathematics Education degree in high school education from North Carolina State University and was recently honored as the East Lee Middle School 2019-20 Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Voelz says that her teaching philosophy is rather simple. She comments, “I am in this for the kids! Building relationships with the students is fundamental. Start each day fresh and make it fun! Although I am a Math teacher, I feel it is my responsibility to teach them so much more!”

The best experience of Ms. Voelz’s teaching career was when she had the opportunity to be on a two-teacher team when she was at West Lee Middle School. She recalls, “We only had 50 students and we were able to build relationships that were rock solid. We had an emotional roller coaster of a year. While it was an awesome year, it was also one of deep sadness as we experienced the loss of one of our 8th grade students. Because of those relationships we were able to make it through the year and become stronger as we learned to depend on each other. We were truly a small family. I don’t think I have ever been closer to a group of students and my co-teacher. We were able to move mountains with that group!”

Ms. Voelz’s students would most likely describe her as “weird, but that whatever we were doing in the classroom wasn’t so bad because we were having fun!”

In her free time, Ms. Voelz enjoys spending time with her family, relaxing at the beach and attending any Wolfpack sporting events.