School: Coventry High School

Residence: Norton

Age: 41

High school alma mater:  Norton

College: The University of Akron, Bachelor of Science in biology andMaster of Science in education

Family: Husband, Levi Welling; sons, Luke, 10, and Chase, 7; daughter Mira, 5

What subject(s) do you teach (grade level)? Chemistry, grade 11, and physics, grade 12

What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job is that I have the chance to do something new daily. Every time I walk in the doors, there are different challenges, opportunities to build wonderful relationships with students and fellow co-workers, and there is always new material to learn and teach — which truly provides a sense of purpose in my work.

What is the most challenging part of your job? The most challenging part of my job is motivating students — and then keeping them motivated. Whether it is for a year, a semester, or even a single class, it’s hard to compete with the cellphone in their pocket.

Is teaching kids the same today as when you first started? Why or why not? In some ways, teaching kids now compared to 15 years ago is easier. I’ve definitely learned a lot during the time I’ve worked in this profession, and I’ve come to know what tactics can work well. I know not to be combative, and I’ve definitely become a much better listener. I’ve also come to realize how important it is to show kindness and compassion.

Your students would be surprised to know that ... I only spoke Serbian until I began kindergarten.

What’s your hidden talent? I love to bake.

If you weren’t a teacher, you’d be doing what? If I were not a teacher, I would still be working in a laboratory in a hospital.

After a long day at work, what’s the best way to relax? After work, I sit on the couch and watch baking shows with my kids.