January Teacher of the Month

by Taylor Viydo, tviydo@k2tv.com.

At Natrona County High School, Denise Yates has many different roles. 
 
First, and most obvious. She is a business teacher. "I teach business law, business management and web design 1 and 2," said Yates. Until this year, she also helped oversee business clubs at NCHS. 
 
Yates also runs a modest student store out of her classroom. At any given time, students can purchase much needed necessities ranging from pop tarts to energy drinks.  
 
Finally, Yates plays the role of school-mom. "I help students graduate; I'm more of a school mom, then I actually am a teacher," Yates says citing the fact that she cares for her students. 
 
"She is really there for you, especially if you are having trouble," said NCHS sophomore Jesse Marvel. "She is there to pick you up when you are down." 
 
Before coming to NCHS, Ms. Yates did it all. "I've been an equipment operator in the mines...I've been a bartender and a waitress...I've done a variety of things. Bookkeeping for 35 years." Growing up, Yates' family owned and operated several businesses, and Yates says that combined with her work experience adds to her skills as a teacher. 
 
"All those things lend itself to being a good business teacher, because it is real world. I know what students need to know."

Although Yates is a late bloomer on the teaching scene, she knows that it's the place for her. "It is definitely not about the paycheck." Yates says. "I love teaching."