Mrs. Mills’ 4th hour English class full of bright and endearing friends

Isabella Wilson, Editor-In-Chief

While focused students are working throughout the halls of PC during 4th hour, one class consistently stands apart from the rest. Mrs. Mills’ 4th hour IB English I class consists of 14 students, each with their own unique personalities.

“It has enhanced the learning environment,” Mills said. “There’s been a connection with these kids that I have never in my 30 years of teaching experienced before.”  

Junior Katie Hufford is amongst many that feel passionately about this particular English class.

“I feel like we all can truly be ourselves and show our quirks, which would probably not be the case in any other class,” Hufford said.

Because of the small class size, the students are able to develop strong relationships with each other and participate more often.

“Since our class is so small, we have developed a very close and supportive relationship with each other, similar to a family,” junior Jackson Bergman said. “I think this relationship has opened doors for us, as we can develop our skills as a whole and help one another if someone is struggling to grasp a concept.”

While this is not the only class to have an unusually small number of students, each student expresses their contentment with the open and fun atmosphere Mrs. Mills provides.  

“Everyone in the class participates and is super engaged in the class because we make it fun and not just an English class,” Hufford said. “Mrs Mills also lets us show our creativity and we are free to make mistakes that we can all laugh at.”

Mills sees the students grow closer each day and embrace their differences to create an environment that benefits everyone.

“It’s a delicate balance [having only 14 students in class], but when you talk about having someone’s back, those kids have each other’s backs,” Mills said.

The real characteristic that differentiate this class from the others, however, is the overbearing love for the late horse, Seabiscuit. After reading the American classic, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend”, by Laura Hillenbrand, the students expressed a blazing passion for the horse.

The Seabiscuit wall decal in which the class donated money to purchase.
The class Seabiscuit shrine, located in the back corner of the classroom.

As a result, they pooled money to purchase a Seabiscuit wall decal for Mrs. Mills, and have collected a number of items honoring the horse. The class has also participated in a ‘Secret Santa’ spin-off which they refer to as “Secret Seabiscuit”.

“[During ‘Secret Seabiscuit’] someone received a picture of Seabiscuit and two miniature horses that looked like Seabiscuit and his companion, Pumpkin,” Bergman said. “We decided to fetch a table and set up those horses and a couple of other gifts that we received like a pet rock, a picture of Seabiscuit, a candle, and more. Later on we put up a decal of Seabiscuit, and the Seabiscuit shrine was complete.”

Mills remains thankful for the dedication and love the class has provided for both her and for each other.

“I would have to say it’s been an incredible experience that I will have to treasure,” Mills said. “I’m all about the relationships and it has been a godsend to me to see 14 kids that say ‘this is a good place to be.’ That is a good feeling.”

The Seabiscuit collection sits prominently in Mills’ room, and the fandom of her 4th hour class continues to blaze on. Mills confirms that the Seabiscuit decal and shrine will not be leaving her room anytime soon, nor will her love for the students.