Beyond biology

Nagel’s mind stretches far beyond the content area she teaches


Even though she teaches biology, Nagel finds time for her passions outside of the classroom as well.

Madisyn Spencer, Staff Writer

Within a classroom full of life and wonder sits Mrs. Ashley Nagel, returning for her second year as a biology teacher at McHenry High School West Campus. Nagel’s happiest moments are knowing she helped grow and inspire yet another mind. Biology is the inspiration keeping her and her students on their toes. Even though science is a must for Nagel, there is definitely another side to her biology brain. 

Nagel teaches a few different science classes, but is currently only teaching biology this year. Science is something that inspires Nagel and it really keeps her on her toes. A big excitement for Nagel is having to stay on top of everything that happens in the science world: “Everyday there’s new information, new discoveries, and things are constantly changing because of the science world,” Nagel explained. All of the changes and experiments is what makes biology and the rest of the science world so fascinating. Nagel first realized in college that it was fun to not always have an answer to everything, which is what led her to teach science. Not always having an answer is the answer.

Nagel’s favorite part of discovering life in her classroom is the study of dissection. Something about the experience of dissecting excites Nagel. Biology is a big interest for Nagel, and she incorporates it as much as she can into her daily life. A common place everyone can find life is nature. Nature is a big part of Nagel’s life as well. “My husband and I are big outdoors people!” Nagel exclaimed. Mrs. Nagel and her husband enjoy doing things like taking their dogs on hikes, going to baseball games, and if it’s nice out they like to go kayaking. Anything just to be out and about, and just explore

Some of Nagel’s passions are beyond biology. “I do lots of random things.” says Nagel. Not only does Nagel love nature and doing things outdoors but she loves doing other things that include being inside, and away from the outdoors. Nagel loves to bake and cook. Any free-time she gets, she’s in the kitchen baking or cooking up a new recipe. Nagel also enjoys sitting down with a good book. “I am a big reader! Whether it’s science articles or a Nicholas Sparks book, I just like to read.” Nagel explained. Not only does Nagel enjoy science class and doing things outside and in the kitchen but she loves to spend time with her dad, who happens to be her biggest role model. 

Biology is a big part of Nagel’s life, as well as her students. She puts a lot of work, energy, and love into science and enjoys the constantly changing content; there is never a dull moment. Beyond Biology, Nagel loves doing normal everyday activities. Whether it is being outdoors with loved ones, being indoors cooking, or spending some quality time with her biggest role model. No matter what she does, who she’s with, or where she goes, Nagel incorporates science and all of its possibilities. Overall, Nagel puts it best: “My students are that ‘happy’ spot in my life, so it’s nice to know that I can impact their lives as well.”