Homegrown science teacher
By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Meredith Wilemon
Meredith Wilemon was inspired by a high school science teacher. A passion for science and a connection to teachers through curriculum led Wilemon to become a science teacher herself.
Wilemon’s family moved to Castle Pines when she was four. She attended the local schools, including Buffalo Ridge Elementary, Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) and Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) before the Wilemon family moved to Texas when Meredith was 16 years old.
After a handful of years in Texas, Wilemon returned to Castle Pines in 2015. This is home for her. “Every time I leave and come back – I always feel an overwhelming sense of belonging here in this community,” she stated.
That feeling of belonging was strong for Wilemon in Shawndra Fordham’s science classes at RCHS. “Mrs. Fordham was phenomenal and always connected with her students through the material she taught them. She helped develop my passion for biology.”
Wilemon has followed in Fordham’s path and is in her fourth year as a professional educator. Wilemon teaches seventh grade science at SkyView Academy, a preschool through 12th grade charter school in Highlands Ranch.
She delights in the way her students learn and the questions they ask. “They think of things that have never crossed my mind, and I absolutely love hearing what they have to say. Even though I’m the one who is supposed to be teaching them, they make me learn too.”
Finding the balance between being too nice or too firm in the classroom can be a struggle for any teacher, and Wilemon is no exception. “I’m generally a pretty nice person, but anyone who knows pre-teenage kids, knows that sometimes you have to be a little firm so they can learn not only biology and chemistry, but some life lessons too,” commented Wilemon.
Outside the classroom, Wilemon loves to read – usually keeping up with a handful of different books at one time. She geeks out on all things Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter; her cat Merlin is an extension of her self-proclaimed “nerdiness.” Wilemon loves to cook and bake too.
Wilemon and her boyfriend, Christian Clodfelder, ultimately connected through education. Clodfelder and Wilemon had a passing acquaintance at RHMS and RCHS as youth, but didn’t really reconnect until this past spring. The pair climbed Wilemon’s first fourteener, Mt. Shavano in the San Isabel National Forest this summer. Taking advantage of the beautiful Colorado outdoors is another way Wilemon likes to fill her time outside of the classroom.