Thank You, Mrs. Mynster

Jocelyn Thao, News Editor

Imagine this: 

Summer before sophomore year, you decide to take Chemistry. You get your schedule, only to hear that for the first semester of the class, you’ll have who’s known as one of the toughest teachers on campus. 

On the first day of class, you stand nervously outside S-106 with your fellow classmates who’ve heard similar rumors about the difficulty of your particular teacher’s classes. As the bell rings, you shuffle into the classroom and pick a seat, still anxious about what the next three weeks hold. You take notice of the walls of the class, lined with fun chemistry posters and pictures of the periodic table, but what stands out most is the countless plaques recognizing your teacher for her numerous accomplishments as an educator. Some of your nerves wash away as you realize that even if the class ends up being difficult, you’re in good hands. Your teacher is clearly amazing at what she does. 

Within the first 20 minutes of class, your teacher has flawlessly memorized the names of you and your classmates, stunning everyone.

By the end of class, she’s covered about a week’s worth of material in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. 

Almost all of the nervousness you felt that morning has dissipated. You still don’t know how difficult the tests will be, but you’re confident that as long as you do your part as a student, you’ll be fine. 

The next three weeks fly by. 

Then junior year rolls around, and you have the same teacher for AP Chemistry. You know it’ll be exponentially more difficult, but you can’t help but feel excited to learn more about one of your new favorite subjects, knowing that you can trust your teacher will provide the resources you need to succeed. 

By nailing all of her students’ names on the first day of school (a task that most teachers take several weeks, even months, to do), Mrs. Mynster establishes a lasting personal connection with each individual. Beyond that, she begins each class with a cheery “good morning,” setting a positive tone for the period before jumping into the day’s agenda, thereby creating an environment that encourages interest in chemistry. 

Mrs. Mynster also integrates anecdotes and jokes into lectures, keeping students engaged with the material and fostering a love for chemistry by demonstrating her own passion for the subject and showing its applications in everyday life. The lecture packets she provides effectively combine the most important and relevant concepts of each chapter with different types of practice problems such that students are able to actively learn and study the material. Additionally, unlike many teachers, Mrs. Mynster always takes the time in class to review tests and quizzes, dissecting each problem so that students understand why they missed certain questions and improve in the future. 

The dozens of plaques, banners, and trophies that line the walls of Mrs. Mynster’s classroom only serve to amplify her outstanding abilities as a teacher and her dedication to both the subject of chemistry and her role as an educator. Evidently, Mrs. Mynster has lead many of her students to success far beyond the classroom; every year since 2003, AHS has earned first place honors in the Southern California section of the annual American Chemical Society Chemistry Olympiad competition, with the exception of the two years Mrs. Mynster was on maternity leave. 

Mrs. Mynster’s radiant positive energy and commitment to pushing her students towards success shine through her approach to teaching as she continues to inspire students to pursue fields in chemistry approach life with an optimistic attitude.