After a four-year stretch of teaching at DHS, the beloved English teacher is moving back to Mill Creek
By Tessa Kipke
Jill Fyke has always loved teaching middle schoolers. She started in Dexter as an English teacher at Mill Creek, where she found the students and community of team teachers to be “pretty magical, actually.” For the next 11 years, Fyke’s signature passion was for what she was teaching, and the students she taught, became a staple in the middle school.
Then, in the fall of 2012, Fyke underwent an “involuntary transfer,” or a switch brought on by a decrease of students in the eighth grade, that sent her up to the high school.
“I didn’t really decide; it was kind of decided for me,” Fyke said of the change. Nevertheless, her impact has been huge among high schoolers.
“I really liked being in Mrs. Fyke’s classroom, because you could tell she cared so much about her students and the subject,” said Vivian Culp, an exchange student who took Fyke’s creative writing class last year.
Fyke had a good time at the high school, too, stating the impact of going with her middle schoolers and watching them flourish into young adults (“or ‘real people’ I would call them,” Fyke joked).
“Some of the deeper conversations we would have at the high school were awesome,” Fyke continued. “It’s a trade-off, for sure.”
Now, Fyke is making another change, this time voluntary. This September, a teacher many students have grown to see as an integral part of their high school careers will be taking her leave of DHS and moving back to Mill Creek.
Though many high schoolers will mourn the loss of Fyke in the halls of DHS, her former students are happy to see her return to her original post; for many, she remains a beloved middle school teacher entrenched in memories from those adolescent years.
“Mrs. Fyke was a really good teacher in the high school, but I think she was the best teacher in eighth grade. You learned from her less because she was your teacher and more because she was someone you were in a room spending time with,” said Lucas Bell, a Dexter alum who originally had Fyke in middle school.
Fyke is incredibly excited for her return to Mill Creek, where she will resume teaching middle school English.
“The only reason I took the opportunity to go back to Mill Creek is I’ve simply always considered myself a middle school teacher,” Fyke said. “I remember how hard the middle school years were for me when I was at that awkward age, and I always thought if I can make it a little easier for one or two other kids coming through, it would have been worth it.
“I’m definitely excited to be back in my old room, with my old teammates; working on my old curriculum to make it even better than it was before, and getting those eighth graders ready for DHS.”