An Interview With Mr. Fillenworth, Teacher of the Year

Last week it was announced that 7th and 10th grade teacher Mr. Fillenworth won the Teacher of the Year Award for this year. We decided to take a moment to talk with him about his experiences at City and see how he is adapting to social distancing and online learning.

What subjects do you teach?

I teach Honors Math 7, Honors Algebra II, and EPIC IV.

Am I correct in remembering that this is your first year at City?

Yes, this is my first official year at City High Middle School. However, I did my student teaching here 7 years ago and am very happy to be back.

Do you have a favorite book?

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

What about a favorite movie?

Remember the Titans

What school(s) did you teach at before City?

Prior to returning to City, I taught for 5 years at Fruitport Middle School.

Having been at those other schools, how is City different from other high schools?

At City, the pace of content requires a lot of effort, time, ability, and energy; however, the material taught is interesting and enjoyable for students and teachers alike. Furthermore, the staff at City are some of the most amazing coworkers. Their help has made my job much easier and more fun. I really appreciate their time and effort.

What has it been like adapting your classes to online learning?

First and foremost, I miss my students. But I found that being present, setting clear expectations, and nurturing a positive online community were the keys to success. I was absolutely blown away by the ability of my students to just show up and ask for feedback.

What advice do you have for students transitioning to this new online learning curriculum?

Communicate with your instructor, know the expectations, and manage your time wisely.

What are you going to be doing in your free time during this upcoming summer of social distancing?

Hopefully some outdoor activities (dog walks, bike rides, etc.), continue honing my cooking and baking skills, and maybe even do some traveling if some of the bans get lifted.


Former Editor in Chief of The City Voice, finally graduated City High Middle School as part of the Class of 2022.