Jenny Wells

By

College: Education

Making a Difference in a Student's Life

Published: Apr 24, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 24, 2013) — When she was a sophomore in high school, Danette Wilder had a problem: she was late to her biology class almost every morning. Her school was located near downtown Detroit, and she traveled nearly 25 miles a day to get back and forth, taking as many as three different buses and walking two miles.

 

Her biology teacher, Delois Wynne, was unaware of her situation, and was frustrated that Danette was consistently late to her class. One day, she put her foot down.

 

"She told me it was unacceptable, and was very strong about it," said Wilder. "I hated knowing I had disappointed her."

 

Wilder had looked up to Ms. Wynne from the first day of class, when she shared her personal success story with her students.

 

"She graduated high school when she was only 16 and went to college, just like Martin Luther King Jr. did," Wilder said. "I was very impressed by that, and was motivated to be just like that."

 

In order to not be late anymore, Wilder woke up even earlier than usual to make the long journey into the city.  One morning, when it was still dark outside, Ms. Wynne was driving to school when she noticed Wilder sitting at a bus stop.

 

"I pulled over and asked what she was doing out there so early," said Ms. Wynne. "She told me she lived out that way and wanted to make sure she wasn't late anymore for my class. I said 'child, get in this car and let's go to school' and gave her a ride. I didn't mean to hurt her feelings by calling her out for being late."

 

From that moment on, Ms. Wynne became a teacher who made a difference in Wilder's life.

 

"She put two and two together and realized the challenge I had getting to school," Wilder said. "So from that point on, she said she'd give me a ride. And she did - everyday for the rest of the year."

 

But Ms. Wynne's support went beyond the daily rides to school. She became what Wilder describes as "an extension of a parent."

 

"My parents were very supportive and encouraging, but they didn't have the educational background to guide me," Wilder said. "That's where Ms. Wynne came in. She gave me the actual tools to succeed, kept my mind active, and encouraged me. She taught me the impact of first impressions, the importance of being on time, and that being different or standing out doesn’t make you odd — it makes you a LEADER. She really changed my life."

 

Wilder ended up graduating second in her class, and went on to earn a degree in electrical engineering from Old Dominion University.  Since then, she has worked for Fortune 500 companies like Toyota, Corning and Siemens, gaining valuable corporate experience.  She then started her own business, SealingLife, Inc., which is a manufacturer and distributor of sealing, packing and assembly solutions in Lexington.

 

To recognize the extraordinary influence Ms. Wynne has had on her life, Wilder will honor her this Saturday at the annual Teachers Who Made a Difference ceremony.  Part of the University of Kentucky College of Education, the program gives individuals the means to thank an educator who has impacted their lives. Now in its 15th year, the program will honor more than 150 educators.

 

"When I found out she was honoring me as a 'Teacher Who Made a Difference,' it brought tears to my eyes, I was so humbled," said Ms. Wynne.

 

Teachers Who Made a Difference is not a competition. Each year, all submissions are accepted up to a predetermined limit with each being honored that year. Also each year, the program is assisted by a spokesperson who helps get the word out. In the past, John Calipari, Dermontti Dawson, Tubby Smith, Lee T. Todd Jr., Kyle Macy, and Dan and Cheri Issel have led the charge. In 2012 and again this year, UK Women’s Basketball Coach Matthew Mitchell has served as spokesperson.

 

"There has to be someone in a child's life that gives them a story to motivate them," said Wilder. "That's what Ms. Wynne did for me. She told me her life story and encouraged me to make the most of mine. You never forget those stories. I can't say in simple words how much I appreciate her." 

 

Ms. Wynne retired from teaching in 2008, after 43 years. She and Wilder still keep in contact.

 

"I considered my students as my little sisters and brothers — I was their big sister instead of their teacher," said Ms. Wynne. "I always wanted them to go on and do more than I had done."

 

"I reflect on Ms. Wynne continuously throughout my life accomplishments," Wilder said. "She was supportive, a mentor and more importantly — a great role model."

 

Submissions for the 2014 program will be accepted beginning in December 2013 at education.uky.edu/Community/TWMAD.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells, (859) 257-5343; Jenny.Wells@uky.edu. 

composite.jpgtwmadlogo.jpg
Tags:
September
 
 
1
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Receive 80% Refund
Suicide Prevention: Raising Awareness & Sharing Our Stories
Welcome Coffee
Game Show
Tue
2
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wed
3
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Rosemary's Baby
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Pitch Perfect 2
Adjusting to College
Adjusting to College
Kickoff Football Season Grill Out
Thu
4
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Akira
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Whiplash
To Live in the Borderlands: A Household Perspective on Frontier Politics from the Middle Jequetepeque Valley, Peru
Fri
5
Go Swing Dancing!
Sat
6
 
Sun
7
Labor Day
Mon
8
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Ivory Tower
Tue
9
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wed
10
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Selena
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Jurassic World
Adjusting to College
Thu
11
The Late Night Film Series Presents - The Great Beauty
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Predator
Friday Swing Dance Lessons - Free!
Friday Swing Dance Lessons - Free!
Accounting Internship & Career Fair
Fri
12
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Sculptors On Paper
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Sat
13
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Sun
14
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Outdoor Installation
Wildcat Wellness Expressions - Superhero
Mon
15
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Women's Forum Board Meeting
Southern Sirens Concert
Tue
16
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Wed
17
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
Adjusting to College
Thu
18
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Outdoor Installation
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Dark Girls
The Late Night Film Series Presents - The Pokémon Movie
Curator Tour with Stuart Horodner
Fri
19
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Sat
20
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
LexHop
Sun
21
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Expressions - Finger Painting
Mon
22
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Tue
23
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Last Day to Receive 50% Refund
2 Day Business Internship & Career Fair
Pinterest Party I
Wed
24
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
2 Day Business Internship & Career Fair
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Wild Tales
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Mad Max: Fury Road
Adjusting to College
Thu
25
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
The Late Night Film Series Presents - All.I.Can
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Nightcrawler
Fri
26
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Paint the Town Blue/Banner Competition
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Swing Dance Lessons - Free
Arts Writing Workshop
Sat
27
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Paint the Town Blue/Banner Competition
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Sun
28
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Paint the Town Blue/Banner Competition
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wildcat Wellness Expressions - Mandala
Mon
29
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Wildcat Wellness Relaxation
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Kitty Karnival
Tue
30
Bottoms Up: A Sculpture Survey
Nina Katchadourian: Collection Interventions
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wayne Koestenbaum: Unfamiliar Grammar
Wed
 
 
 
Sep 01
Last Day to Add a Class 09/01/2015

Tue, 09/01/2015

Repeats every week until Tue Dec 08 2015 .
Tue, 09/01/2015

Repeats every week until Wed Dec 09 2015 except Wed Nov 25 2015.
Wed, 09/02/2015

Reset Page