More Than a Paper and a Handshake


Maddie Arno

Every student has a favorite teacher that they look forward to seeing every day. A teacher who shows interest in them and their classmates. A teacher who positively impacts them from the moment they walk through the door to the moment they leave. A teacher that they will remember for the rest of their lives. And many students have recognized Ms. Kincaid as one of these teachers. 

Ms. Kincaid teaches Algebra II and Pre-Calc here at West. While you may have heard Ms. Kincaid’s name at West if you haven’t had her, the students who have, recognize her name as more than that. When I asked one of Kincaid’s former students, Junior Paris Enninful, about her experience with Ms. Kincaid, she highlighted many positive qualities. She explained that Ms. Kincaid was able to make her class enjoyable, even at 7 am with a room full of half-asleep students by telling jokes and stories. Paris emphasized that “[Kincaid] has good energy so her students are able to give her good energy in return.” Students gain more respect for her when she interacts with them individually, making her teaching increasingly impactful. Ms. Kincaid makes an effort to create that close connection with a student, and, in result, they tend to be more engaged because they know she cares about them as an individual. 

Ms. Kincaid enjoys the diversity at West and all of the different stories and backgrounds that come from students. She constantly strives to reach as many students as she can and help each one individually. However, this comes with a cost. Ms. Kincaid sacrifices a large amount of her time, constantly trying to improve her lesson plans and to make sure everyone is taken care of. By doing this, she has seen a positive change in her students’ grades and understanding of the material. Aside from being known for her great personal connections, Ms. Kincaid has also received the title of an amazing math teacher and person around our school. She always makes sure all of her students understand the topic before she moves on, provides lots of practice for students and is very flexible with time to make sure anyone who needs extra help has the opportunity to receive it. Even when the students went remote in the spring of last year, Kincaid was described to be one of the few teachers who really kept in contact with students and was open to all feedback that would help make that timeless stressful or confusing.

Ms. Kincaid believes that education is more than just a diploma and a handshake. It is the experience that you have throughout the years with your teachers and peers that matters. This is why she finds it most important to build meaningful relationships with her students. Ms. Kincaid continues to provide students with a welcoming environment and a helping hand.