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CEL Member Spotlight - Previous Revision


Bowling Green High School

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Meet Natalie Croney, teacher of English language arts speech and debate coach at Bowling Green High School!  Natalie shares her insights on teaching and leadership and what CEL offers her as a professional.


Tell us about your experiences as an English language arts teacher and leader.

I have worked for three years as a sophomore and senior English language arts teacher at Bowling Green High School in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  I teach collaborative and regular levels for both grades as well as the college preparatory courses of senior English. 


I coach the school’s speech and debate team, co-lead the high school’s vertical alignment initiative for the English program, and participate in the Kentucky Department of Education Writing Program Advisory Committee.


What keeps you engaged with CEL members and current issues in our profession?

In a time when many professional organizations have been reduced to a mere web

presence, CEL has maintained its humanity.   CEL is comprised of professionals who have

faces that are called to memory along with the names.  I know that if I need help with a

concept or support with a new initiative, I could contact the competent educators of CEL and

receive quality feedback.


The members strive for excellence in education and effectiveness in leadership.  This push

toward excellence and effectiveness keeps me engaged.


Describe an exciting moment in teaching that reminded you why you teach.

I had a student who struggled throughout his year of senior English.  Though he was polite

and an excellent visionary, his reading and communication skills were subpar. He desired

to learn, but often grew frustrated with the process.


It pained me to watch him struggle with the material.  I insisted that he read complex

material,learn how to ask the right questions, and write coherent sentences.  The material

was higher than anything he’d ever been asked to do. There were times when I wondered if

pushing him that hard was right to do (I didn’t want to break his spirit). I wondered if he

understood why I pushed so diligently.


At the end of the year, I looked on my desk and saw a bright orange card which read, “All

happy . . . all smiles . . . all grateful.”  In the card, he thanked me for pushing him in his

work.  At that moment, every tutoring session, battle for excellence, and individual pep

rally was worth it.   Students like him are why I teach.


Tell us something humorous about yourself.

People laugh at me because they assume that my deadpan expression is induced by a

witty, sarcastic nature instead of profound confusion.  I oblige them.


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