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Mrs Elaine Mahler the new SPECIAL addition to whs

By: Chloe Mclaughlin    

 At the start of a new school year you may find many new, fresh and friendly faces. Mrs. Elaine Mahler is a new edition at WHS as a Special Education teacher. 


Mahler previously worked at the Kate Collins Middle School as a Special Education teacher. She said that the biggest differences coming from the high school to the middle school is the maturity level in found in high school students. She feels that they are much more independent and follow routines better and are also more trustworthy and open.

“Most of the students are very friendly, and you don’t have to nag them a lot. They seem to have a grip on what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to act,” said Mahler.

Mahler believes that there are benefits to teaching Special Education.

“You learn how to reach each student and and their different needs. Each student appreciates what you do and they want to learn,” said Mahler, “I go home everyday feeling good.”

She also believes that she creates personal connections with her students.

“You study what they are able to do and you learn their likes and dislikes. It’s a work in progress. You can’t expect even an adult to change right away,” said Mahler.

Mrs Mary Lunger, a fellow coworker and Special Education teacher feels that Mahler is friendly, always helpful, and has also been a great help assisting students in their elective classes.

“She’s a calm presence in our active program,” said Lunger,“Her calmness is an asset to some of the students that have anxiety,”

She also believes that Mahler’s personality is a great fit for the high school and she relates really well with the students.

Mahler feels that her personality reflects on her decision to teach because she loves helping people and enjoys doing paperwork.

Due to her decision to teach she attended multiple colleges, receiving a master’s degree in special education, administration supervision and English education.

When Mahler first began college she was taking classes for Biology. She was later diagnosed with Mononucleosis which forced her to be on complete bed rest and withdraw from all her labs and science classes.She  found that she was doing much better in English classes and struggling in science, so she decided to make English her major.


Mrs Elaine Mahler busy at work on her computer Photo By: Chloe Mclaughlin

Mahler has taught in various places such as Alabama for a year and Nelson county for 11 years. She has also substituted in Augusta County for 11 years and did secretarial work for 14 years in Christiansburg and Waynesboro. She also attended and graduated from WHS which was a part of her decision to teach here this year

Some things that have helped Mahler in her career as a Special Education teacher, and advice that she would give to aspiring Special Education teachers is to always keep up with your paperwork and to always use your support system. Make sure you try to get along with the parents and teachers around you and stay on the same page. It works much better for the students when the adults are all together.

Mahler’s journey in education involved many hardships and experiences; it’s safe to say that Mahler’s destination at WHS has sparked a positive reaction among students and staff.  


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