Counting On Voelker Is Definite

Mrs. Voelker Joins High School Science Department


Photo Courtesy Mrs. Voelker

Like every new year, new teachers are coming into school buildings ! Mrs. Taylor Voelker continues the Newbury pilgrimage to West Geauga, teaching both physical and forensic science. “My goal every year,” she said, “is to have students show growth in some way and, if they don’t like science, to show them that it really is an interesting subject.”

Mrs. Voelker has been teaching for 8 years and has loved every minute of it. For Mrs. Voelker, however, it’s more like a re-entry to West G. She completed her student teaching here during the 2012-13 school year and also taught summer school in Mentor for 4 years. Her first 7 years of non-summer school teaching were at Newbury, where she taught several science classes. While at Newbury, she also coached 7th grade basketball, was a class advisor, was an assistant soccer coach for the boys, and was the academic team adviser for six years. She proudly notes that her academic teams qualified to nationals ALL 6 years, too !

Before she went into teaching as a full-time career, she worked as a server, a bartender, a restaurant manager, and a barista for Starbucks. She attended Stanton College Preparatory High School (Jacksonville, FL) and started college at the University of Central Florida before transferring to Kent State where she earned both her undergrad and graduate school degrees. 

For Mrs. Voelker, teaching is a second career. “I was on the international marking team for Cordis Corporation, which is a division of Johnson and Johnson,” she said when talking about her first career choice. “Not only did I get to plan meetings all over the world, but I was responsible for organizing the technology forums that brought doctors in from other countries and observe them as well. I also attended several cardiology conferences and expos, which were amazing to take part in.”

She decided to switch careers at a, “…very pivotal point in my life.” Her father passed away, she turned thirty, and then her grandfather passed away, all during a two – month span. During this time, she reflected on her grandfather’s words. He used to say, “If you are not happy doing what you are doing everyday, then you are doing the wrong thing.”  

Outside of school, Mrs. Voelker and her husband, Ray, are huge sports fans and she still plays volleyball when she can. Her daughter (Poppy) was born a preemie, so she is on the Parent Advisory Council for Hillcrest’s NICU to work on programs for current families. In addition to work, family (this includes a 5-month old son, Beckham,) and the NICU, she also led a charity event at Newbury where they were able to donate 140 Cuddle Bear books and stuffed animals sets to all the families at Hillcrest, the Cleveland Clinic and Fairview Hospital. She also has a team for the March of Dimes walk (proudly named Poppy’s Posse) and has raised almost $20,000 over three walks. She loves doing all of this because the NICU community gave so much to her.

“Teaching is something I absolutely love. Even though the pandemic has changed how we approach our jobs, the root of why I teach has not changed. I enjoy working with students and watching them have that ‘ah ha’ moment when it starts to click for them.”