Remembering the Queen

She will always be the Queen.

Holly Wippermann, English 11 teacher at GHS, passed away Sunday after fighting Stage IV colon cancer. Her legacy is shown in the hearts of her family, friends and students.

“Wipp was a teacher who cared about her students as much as she cared about her own kids,” senior Hali Harrison said. “She was the type of teacher that you could talk to anything about. I talked to her about everything from politics to car troubles. I’m really going to miss her.”

Wippermann was persistent in educating her students. She had the boldness to say what needed to be said, even if it was not what someone wanted to hear. Always ready with a sarcastic remark, she owned the classroom. She led in a way like no other. 

“She was such a funny teacher but she knew when to stay on task,” senior Maria Marquez said. “She knew how to make us laugh.”

Her class was challenging, but when students got stressed, she invited them into the boat.

“I loved the picture that Wipp hung on her wall,” 2019 GHS graduate Haley Pritchett said. “She told us that if we ever needed to take a cruise in her boat during class, were were welcome to, as long as we brought it back. She was the type of teacher that does that sort of thing for kids.”

Students will always remember some of the lessons Wipp taught.

“I will never forget doing the interview unit with Ms. Wipp,” 2018 GHS graduate Seth Gallman said. “Her class was the highlight of my day, and she has had a huge influence on who I am today.”

Her compassion towards her students was remarkable. She reached out to students who were struggling with school or just life in general, and she wished to help in any way she could.  

“Wipp was a very caring teacher, sometimes she showed this by pulling you aside to help you in or out of the classroom, and many times she showed this by calling you out about stuff in front of the class,” senior Dominique Proctor said. “Many teachers would not have even noticed or acknowledged the things that Wipp did.”

Her compassion encouraged students to do their very best in her class.

“She was the type of teacher who tried to understand students, instead of only put demands on them,” Pritchett said. “She had her expectations for us, do not get me wrong, but her expectations were the ones I wanted to meet the most.”

She pursued students in a way unlike any other teacher.

“She guided me through the toughest year of my life and constantly reassured me that I would somehow make it through junior year,” senior Katrina Stanger said.

Wippermann’s class was a safe haven for students.

“Every day was entertaining with her teaching,” 2019 GHS graduate Ashley Rodriguez said. “She was one of the only teachers whom I ever really talked to after class and shared personal experiences.”

The community has banded together during this time of heartbreak.

“A tough day for our students, staff, and community. As I said in a message to our staff, heaven certainly gained a teaching angel,” Greenwood Superintendent Dr. Kent Dekoninck tweeted on Monday.

A celebration of life will be held next Tuesday (July 23) from 4-6 in the varsity gym. Before she passed, Wippermann established a scholarship for the students she would have invested in and educated. To support the memorial scholarship, click here.

“I know she will be missed, and I feel very sad for the upcoming juniors who will never have such an amazing teacher as we all did before them,” Rodriguez said.

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