The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

More than an English Teacher

More than an English Teacher
Image by Haley Wolsieffer

Pouring tea into her teacup, Grace Edsel sat down at her desk. Her room was perfectly organized. She clearly pays attention to every detail, from her carefully curated outfits to her composure as she speaks, Edsel displays confidence and kindness. She has worked as an English teacher at McNeil for several years and has had a significant impact on her students’ lives.

Edsel grew up on a ranch with her family in a very small town called Tuscola, Texas. While she teaches English now, she was initially interested in playing sports in middle and high school.

“It took me a while to settle into really enjoying books but I’d say it probably happened in my freshman year of high school where I was first introduced to some books I really enjoyed rather than just being the things I had to read for school,” Edsel said. “And now I love all kinds of genres.”

After graduating high school, Edsel went on to the University of Texas to study engineering.

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“I started in the school of engineering because I’d read [from particular articles] that they didn’t have a whole lot of petroleum engineer interest from females. I wanted to be sure to get in.”

In her sophomore year, Edsel had enough credits to transfer into UT’s business school and planned to double major in finance and marketing because many of her family members had done the same. She eventually switched her major again, following her love for psychology and literature.

“I just didn’t like it, this is really not for me,” Edsel said. “I just really like psychology and loved literature, and found my calling in sharing that with other people.”

She graduated with an English major, but her days in university were far from over. She went on to New York University for her Masters in American Literature. Then had the opportunity to teach at the University for a year as an undergraduate professor. After her time in New York, she went on to continue her studies out of the country. Edsel went to Oxford for her Masters in British Literature.

“Obviously, I really love literature and I try to get everybody to love it as much as possible, or at least like it, while they are here,” Edsel said.

After finishing up her Masters, Edsel was debating where she should go next. For a while, she had refused the idea of being a teacher. However, when people would ask what she wanted to do, Edsel would explain the things she enjoyed doing, they pointed out that it seemed like she wanted to be a teacher.
Edsel decided to look into it by joining the UTeach program to see what it would be like to teach.

“I taught my first lesson to a bunch of elementary kids in second grade, which I don’t even enjoy [that grade level], [but] I fell in love with it,” Edsel said.

Ultimately, she decided to move to Texas where her husband is from, and applied to McNeil High School, where she has been ever since.

“I really like the subject,” Edsel said. “And all the interesting and intricate faucets that can bleed over into the fact that do I truly love people. I would say I am a little more extroverted than I am introverted, and I get to share that with people.”

Edsel believes in the importance of her job as a teacher and wants to share her love of literature with others.

“I really believe in the power of knowledge, and knowing things, and how valuable it is,” Edsel said. “Your brain is like any other muscle in your body, if you don’t have access to working it, getting education and learning, then you are ultimately stunting what you’re capable of.”

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About the Contributor
Haley Wolsieffer, News Editor
Hello! This will be my first year on the McNeil Trailblazer staff. I am the News Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. I am on the McNeil Swim team and a designer for the Yearbook. I love to drink coffee and read all kinds of books. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and puppy. I am so excited for this year!

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