Herriman High’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year
Jul 02, 2020 12:26PM
By Jet Burnham
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
One of the award-winning teachers, Whitney Borup, who teaches AP English and Film Studies at Herriman High School, was nominated by Principal Todd Quarnberg.
“Whitney has dedicated her entire professional career to providing opportunities for people to reach their full potential,” Quanberg said. “She possesses all of the tools necessary to make a profound difference in the future of education and in the lives of students and staff.”
Borup’s colleagues appreciate her collaborative problem-solving and leadership skills. Students appreciate her willingness to work one-on-one with them.
Borup does not accept poor results but will work with a student outside the classroom until the problem is solved and the student succeeds. One student Borup worked with this year had experienced some trauma.
“She was really struggling mentally,” Borup said. “So, I would work with her on her writing just to get her to feel really confident about at least that one part of her life so that she could feel better about other parts.”
Quarnberg praises Borup as “a student motivator, student supporter and lifelong student herself.”
Borup’s own educational path has earned her a bachelor's degree and master's degree in Film, and a Ph.D. in English.
As a teacher of AP English and Film classes, she enjoys watching students develop an interest in reading for the first time or fall in love with a movie they never would have watched on their own.
Borup teaches English in a unique way, what she describes as a scientific approach.
“It's just very academic, very scholarly,” she said. “I don't do much with some of the touchy-feely stuff in English. I get a lot of students that appreciate that.”
She has found that some students are turned off by English classes that focus on character building and morals of the story. Her teaching method connects with many who previously thought they didn’t like the subject.
“I'm more focused on how a writer has pieced together a sentence to make it effective to us,” she said. “And so, I think there's something exciting about them being able to read things and see how they're being manipulated or influenced and see that as a political decision that writers are making.”