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Teacher in the Spotlight - Wendy Auld

teacher in the spotlight

By Christian Weaner

Photo By Erica Haynes 

Born in Sandpoint at Bonner General Hospital, Wendy Auld's journey came full circle when she returned to her roots after a childhood spent across various mill towns in Western Washington. Today, she lives on her grandparents' old farm in Algoma, a stone's throw from where her story began.

"I am glad I got to grow up in small towns and eventually a big city, Seattle," Wendy reflected.

For the past 31 years, Wendy has been a fixture in the Lake Pend Oreille School District (LPOSD), a career choice inspired by a blend of familial influence and personal passion.

"My mom wanted me to go into dental hygiene like her and my aunt, Rose Cheney, but I didn't love life sciences, and I really did love math, physics and chemistry," Wendy recalled.

"I really enjoyed teaching skiing lessons and tutoring fellow students at college, so I switched to education."

With a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Washington and a master’s in educational administration from the University of Idaho, Wendy has always like math and loved teaching it to students, but her educational philosophy was most profoundly influenced by an opportunity she was afforded to grade Advanced Placement (AP) exams in Kansas City.

"Spending a week with 600 of the top high school and college stats professors in the country really brought a lot of different, and frankly more fun, teaching activities to my Sandpoint classroom," Wendy examined.

Beyond teaching, Wendy engages in a plethora of activities that keep her connected to the stunning natural environment of Bonner County.

"Skiing, swimming, gardening, boating, yoga, mountain biking, hiking — I swim all year long in the lake and can now do April to November without a wetsuit," she shared.

"I got into cold-water swimming after watching 'My Octopus Teacher' on Netflix. It's my favorite thing."

What Wendy values most about teaching in Sandpoint are the students themselves. "We have such nice kids," she noted.

"Whomever grumbles about teenagers hasn't really looked at how many kids are working hard at school, putting their heart into sports, volunteering, working part-time and spending time outdoors."

One of Wendy's most cherished memories as a teacher involves making a significant difference in the lives of students who face greater challenges.

"There are lots of kids with a village and a family, but for some having good teachers and coaches saves them,” Wendy explained.

As Wendy looks to the future, her dedication to her students remains unwavering. Whether solving complex math problems or capturing life through her photography, Wendy embraces each day with vigor, always striving for "three fun things a day" during her free time.

Her story is a testament to the impact one dedicated teacher can have on generations of students and the community at large.

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