Teacher Feature: Alexandra Helle


Alexandra Helle

Alexandra Helle and her skeleton prop are masked up and ready to teach Anatomy and Physiology! Helle said that the photo “sums up teaching through COVID.”

Science teacher and alumna Alexandra Helle (Class of ‘07) is well-known for teaching Anatomy and Physiology, Biology and AP Environmental Science, but few may realize that Helle’s local history dates back to when she was a little girl, when Warren Hills had a student-run daycare center which Helle attended for two years until she started to attend Taylor Street Elementary school in Washington Borough.
The daycare was for the students in the Home Economics class that wanted to get their babysitting certification. The daycare was inexpensive and open to everyone in the community. Helle went as a child because her mother was also a part of the Warren Hills staff in the past, so the arrangement supported students and saved money for childcare.
When Helle got to high school, Warren Hills had a program that Helle participated in called “Senior Option,” which allowed students to leave the school during a last block study hall to job shadow. She was able to shadow one of the science teachers at the middle school.
“I found this to be a very valuable experience as to the reality that teachers face in the classroom,” she said.
Challenged, but not undaunted by the shadow experience, Helle went on to Cedar Crest College where she double majored in Biology and Secondary Education, graduating in 2011, and then returning to Cedar Crest in 2017 to earn a Master’s in the Art of Teaching.
Helle said she has loved her time teaching and some of the highlights are, “Being able to get to know the students and be a small part of their path in life. I also really enjoy the variety of fun labs and experiencing that teaching Anatomy and Biology lends itself to.”
Helle worked through COVID amongst all the other brave teachers, but under those circumstances we had to adjust the way we do things, and that’s exactly what Helle did.
“COVID-19 has definitely made me more aware of the mental health of all my students. Usually, the students that share their struggles with me would be the ones that I thought about from a mental health perspective,” she said. “However, the remote learning that we did last year really forced me to reach out to all of my students to make sure they are doing well. I plan to continue the different techniques and activities that I have developed into the future, post COVID-19.”
Looking toward the future, Helle has been working on establishing a Healthcare Pathway for students who want to learn about the abundance of careers in healthcare and also learn practical skills for the various fields. She said she is looking forward to teaching the school’s new class: Introduction to Health Science for the 2022-2023 school year.
“I’m most excited about the awesome technology I get to teach the students how to use, like ECGs, EMG, and respiration rate monitors,” she said.
Helle is passionate about her job and what she does to contribute to the lives of her students. When asked if she had any advice to give to students who are interested in teaching, anatomy or biology, she said,
“There are a lot of the behind-the-scenes job requirements that take a lot of time that the public doesn’t always think about, like budgeting for materials, setting up and dismantling labs, grading for over 100 students and staying current on content,” she said. “However, this job can be extremely rewarding when you find you truly helped shape a student for the better.”