"Megan’s energy and passion for students is contagious. Not only does she hone her craft as a professional, she also has an incredible heart for our students and speaks life into them. She is one of the many reasons our High School team is special." - Shane Woodward, High School Principal
Looking back everyone remembers the teacher whose passion for their subject matter is tangible, who makes even the most challenging problems comprehensible and makes space for mentorship and meaningful conversations with their students. No one does that better than high school math teacher Megan Wilson.
She pours her whole heart and mind into her teaching process and student's success. Whether mentoring a student at lunch, serving on the mission field, or teaching in the classroom, Ms. Wilson's commitment to intentionally knowing her students and helping them become better students and individuals is what makes her such a memorable and exceptional educator.
As early as 5 years old, Ms. Wilson felt her calling towards education, and her passion never wavered throughout her life. After being inspired by her 8th grade math teacher, she went on to pursue both her undergrad and advanced degrees in mathematics. She's been a part of the GAC community for 7 years, teaching a variety of subjects within the math department, and she is known for her energetic, joyful spirit and gifted ability to make even the most complicated of problems understandable for students.
Now a wife to another GAC teacher, Derek Wilson, and mom to triplets, Ms. Wilson serves as a part-time teacher, but still has a full-time impact on the GAC community as a top tier educator.
To learn more about Ms. Wilson, read through the Q&A below:
Tell us a little more about your upbringing and family life. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
I’m originally from Nashville and was in the public school system until 7th grade when I transferred to Lipscomb Academy.
I started private school in 7th grade at Lipscomb Academy and then went on to pursue my undergrad at Lipscomb University. I then went on to get my masters at the University of Georgia.
As a child, what did you dream of becoming?
When I was a child, I always played teacher. I can look back as far as Kindergarten and when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always responded, “Teacher!” It’s something I’ve always been confident in. And I never changed my mind.
Where did you go to undergrad? Why did you choose that university?
Lipscomb University. I loved the idea of a Christian university. I loved that I got to be near my family during college, and also loved all of the opportunities to grow and excel in a smaller university. There I was able to be Vice President of the student body, be in a social club, do intramurals, go on mission trips, obtain a great education degree, and know my professors outside of just class time.
Why choose math?
Math clicks with me. It makes sense to me. I can rely on it. In college, I was a math major from day one and never changed. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, and I’m very happy about it. At one point I thought I would want to teach college so I pursued my masters in pure math classes and just really enjoyed the math. But, I really love high school. I love this age and working with students who are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be. I love helping them find confidence in who they are as a student and as a young person.
What drew you to GAC?
I was planning on coming back to Nashville as I had a job lined up. I had a friend who taught here who said, “You should apply” so I came for an interview. I thought of it as just a practice interview and a great experience.
But when I stepped onto campus, I knew there was something different. I didn’t know why at the time, but I immediately thought that God was doing something special on the campus, and I wanted to be a part of it.
What do you do to connect with students?
Teaching for me is enjoyable because I love ministry. I love the bond and forming that relationship with students and getting to speak truth into their lives. I have formed many small groups with students outside of class to talk about deep issues and just to connect beyond the classroom walls. I loved coaching soccer before I had my babies. And I still love going on mission trips with students.
You are married to another GAC teacher (who you met here) and have kids here. Tell us about that.
When I first moved to Atlanta, my mom prayed for someone special to be across the hall since I did not know many people in Atlanta. Neither Derek nor I are from Atlanta. We were both the last people on the hallway in the afternoons doing small groups with students, building those relationships, and through that, we became great friends.
Now, we’ve been married almost 8 years with three beautiful triplets: Shepherd, Lucy, and Oliver.
What’s your enneagram?
I’m a 2, ESFJ. I tend to have high anxiety, and I have to be careful with knowing when to say yes or no to things. I want to say yes to everything, and I want to help everyone and be “all the things to all people.” And I can’t do that. Especially not with kids. Perfection is not the goal. It’s about the journey, not perfection.
What classes do you teach at GAC?
I have taught many math classes at GAC including Honors Geometry, Algebra 2, and AP Statistics, but am currently teaching College Prep Geometry and loving it!
What do you feel like sets GAC apart from other schools?
I love that we are encouraged to talk about Jesus and to have spiritual relationships, but we have a lot of non-Christian students. It’s unique. It’s a mission field.
So many of my students know of Jesus, but many don’t know him personally, or understand what it means to be in a relationship with him. It is such an honor to get to walk alongside them as they start to see who He is and how He has changed my life. It’s a unique environment where I’m encouraged to talk about it, but I’m not in such a bubble that everyone already knows. And, I love the diversity here.
I think also the way GAC does mission trips is unique and sets us apart. These students get to experience the whole world. I’ve gone all over the world with GAC students. Very few high schools have such a wide variety of mission trips, and so many high schoolers take advantage of them and go on them. It’s such a cool thing. It’s incredible to go on them, be a part and see how they change the students. Not only is the school diverse, but these students get to experience the whole world. It’s such a great thing to be a part of as a teacher.
When I started here, I went to Namibia. I went to Guatemala. Derek and I led the trip to China for a while. He’s gone for 10 years and I’ve gone for 5 years. And then, I’ve gone to Honduras for the past couple of years.
What does the community at GAC look like?
I’ve gotten close with the math community. It’s a really fun, special group. I love the people I work with. That’s unique, too. Not only are they good at what they do, but they love Jesus.
It’s a fun environment to be in to know that my teacher friends know “who” I am. They know me. And going on mission trips with your colleagues and students allows you to go deeper and connect on a stronger level.
How professional development does GAC provide for teachers?
When I was teaching AP classes, I loved that I was encouraged to go to AP conferences as they were very helpful. Currently I am enjoying the Professional Development Program that runs throughout the year. We have been focusing on topics such as having academic, cultural, spiritual, and social responsiveness as a teacher. I like getting to hear what my other colleagues have done and love learning from them.
What would you tell a younger student who is preparing to be in your class one day?
Ask lots of questions, be yourself, make mistakes, and enjoy the learning process. If you work hard, I will work just as hard alongside you to help you find success in my class. Math is all about teaching your brain how to solve problems. It trains your brain to see a problem—any problem—break it down step by step and confidently solve it. It is not just about graphing a line and finding the centroid of a triangle. Math is about becoming a good problem solver. I love training students to become deep thinkers.
Where would someone find you outside of the classroom?
I am usually chasing my three wild and wonderful three year-olds. We love to go on adventures as a family. I love to hike and enjoy yoga and spin class. I love to do ministry with Derek and our kids. We love to have people over for dinner and we share life with the best community.
What is a book you’ve read recently?
I love all things Brene Brown, particularly the “Gifts of Imperfections.” I have read several enneagram books. I am currently reading John Mark Comer’s “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” and trying to learn how to create space in my life for more grace for myself and for others.
What are you listening to right now?
Simple Worship by Tracey Nitschke if I am alone and the Frozen/Frozen 2 soundtrack if the kids are in the car.
What’s one thing that’s still on your bucket list?
I can't wait to take the kids on adventures around the world. Derek and I love to travel together and have been to so many amazing places; we are so excited to take them along with us.
I would love to write a book one day about all of the unique things that Derek and I have been through and how we have seen and processed God along the way.