Tracy Will’s 25 years at FHC have helped students grow exponentially


Tracy Will

Tracy Will and her family, who she will now be able to spend more time with after retiring.

Math teacher Tracy Will is notorious for three things: her Taylor Swift obsession, her entertaining social media accounts, and her dedication to giving her students the best high school math class experience possible.

On a poignant yet upbeat note, Will has reached the end of her 25-year teaching career; every one of those years was spent at FHC. With so much time spent at FHC, Will has watched many students blossom into they best that they can be.

Junior Taylor Greemann was lucky enough to have Will as a teacher during her last year of teaching and can vouch for the balance of education and enjoyment that Will provides in her classes.

“Her way of teaching is how I like to learn,” Taylor said. “She can relate to students—she even came to watch me at a dive meet, so I feel like she really cares for her students and likes to support them. She can make math fun; we’ll listen to Taylor Swift while we’re doing work. She knows that we all have lives going on, so she likes to accommodate that for us if we need it.”

Will’s flexible and beneficial approach to her teaching isn’t confined to her pupils, though. Her welcoming attitude has made her coworkers feel at home at FHC as well.

In fact, principal Steve Passinault came to FHC 13 years after Will and was met with the best attitude possible upon his arrival.

“Your first impressions with Will are always ‘here is a sincere, kind person,’” Passinault said. “[She] would do anything for staff or students, and just comes across as very kind.”

Will has always had a leading role in making both the familiar and the new feel comfortable at FHC, especially in the math department. However, even before her arrival here, fellow math teacher Rebecca Lipke knew that Will would always be compassionate towards her students.

During an education course at the University of Michigan, Lipke and Will briefly met. Little did they know, in a few short years, they would be occupying side-by-side classrooms and essentially becoming next door neighbors and partners in teaching.

“Years ago, we taught Algebra 2 together,” Lipke said. “But then, this past year, she was getting ready to hand the AP Statistics program over to me. So, she taught one hour, and I taught one hour. It was really great—she really was a great teacher for me.”

Will’s legacy will, undoubtedly, spread throughout the math department. Her expertise in the math department, particularly in statistics, will be everlasting.

While there are other teachers who will excel at teaching the classes that Will formerly taught, her energy and spirit will be missed.

“I think [she will] leave a big legacy and a gap for teachers to fill,” Taylor said, “especially because she teaches so many math classes. So, I think her legacy will reign on and show other teachers what they should do to make their students love math as much as [Will’s] students do.”

Despite all of the growth she has provided for the math branch at FHC, Will knew that 2023 would be her last year of teaching a year and a half in advance.

So, because of this, Will was dedicated to maintaining her streak of making each year unique, enthusiastic, and full of magical journeys to logarithm land.

I loved knowing that this was my last year so [that] I could enjoy all of the lasts.

— Tracy Will

“I loved knowing that this was my last year so [that] I could enjoy all of the lasts,” Will said. “[Once I’m retired], I’m excited for the flexibility to do things like serve my family and whatever I want for a while.”

Will’s willingness to help her family and students alike has caused a strong bond between students and teachers at FHC. As the founder of the Boost Club, which spread positivity throughout the school, Will’s love will remain around the school post-retirement.

She incorporated the values of random acts of kindness from the Boost Club into her everyday teaching, leading to a balanced and healthy classroom environment.

“I’ve observed in her classroom a number of times, and she has a very consistent and genuine approach to students,” Passinault said. “Students know that she cares about them, not just when learning math, but how they’re doing personally. She’s very skilled at getting students to learn—she’s just a very engaged and energetic teacher.”

It is clear that Will is going to be missed by both students and teachers alike, but her retirement is exceptionally bittersweet for her closest coworkers and longtime students.

Lipke, who will be taking over the majority of Will’s classes, is truly sad that Will is retiring. Not only was Will a coworker to her, but also a friend, a teacher, and the biggest supporter of Lipke and many others.

“I don’t think I would have wanted to take over [AP Statistics] if I couldn’t have done it with her,” Lipke said. “She’s always doing things to get people to appreciate themselves, and I appreciate that a lot about her. Yes, she’s a great teacher, but she does more than math. I’m sad; she’s been with me ever since I started. We’ve been through everything together; that part is sad, but I’m super excited for her.”

Will’s future will continue the tradition of her helping others through learning by coming full circle. Will found her love for teaching at a youth group trip helping at day camps for inner-city kids, made it into a career at FHC by teaching math classes, and plans on taking it up as a hobby in an organizational life coach later on.

Will has accomplished innumerable successes at FHC and revolutionized the math department. Without her general positive attitude and passion for anything and everything she does, many students would have missed out on an opportunity to love math and learning.

“We have so much going for us [teachers]—[FHC] students are fantastic,” Will said. “I think what I brought to the table is that I look at each kid, and I see what’s great about them even when the kid hasn’t seen what’s great about themselves. So, that’s something that I think made me a great teacher, and FHC is a fantastic place to teach. I taught for 25 years, and that’s so peaceful: a quarter of a century. I’m very math-y.”