Finding Joy in the Chaos

Teacher juggles classes and extracurriculars


Nicki Tijerina

The many teachers of Cumberland Academy High School work incredibly hard to make their classes an enjoyable place for the students. One of those many teachers is Denise Fleming, who teaches English 3, AP English 3, and dual credit English. In addition to her course load, she also serves as a junior class sponsor, NHS sponsor, and the head of the English department.

“I was looking for other jobs and I came across Cumberland’s posting for an English position. I really loved it here. It was a perfect fit for me.” Said Fleming

Mrs. Fleming enjoys working here at Cumberland because the closeness reminds her of her years at Lindale when everybody knew everybody.

“I really like Cumberland’s sense of acceptance.” Fleming said “In some students there doesn’t seem to be a lot of judgment. I like the closeness.”

Working here at Cumberland catered to Mrs. Fleming’s passion for teaching and her desire to teach teenagers and be a part of their journey to becoming young adults. 

“I was first drawn to teaching because I wanted to work with teenagers. I started out as a theater teacher and I combined those two passions and then eventually morphed into an English teacher.”

Mrs. Fleming has to teach three English courses, but she handles it well, and it shows in the work of her students.

“Teaching three classes definitely makes you a better planner,” Fleming said. “It hopefully helps you get more organized it’s a struggle especially when you teach TJC and AP English, which are writing intensive courses.” 

Fleming wishes to make an impact on her students’ lives and help prepare them for the days to come with a cheerful voice by helping students when she can. She wants her students to be able to enjoy their high school career before it’s over

” I know it can be a struggle,” said Fleming. “I want to challenge them to find enjoyment in the chaos and relish in it. It’s one little stepping stone. It’s four years in a very long life. It’s four years you will look back on and say that was actually kind of awesome.”