ELA teacher Cristy Connellee collects Funko Pop! figurines and student memories

Cristy Connellee is a popular teacher at Gull Lake High School who teaches English 11A and 11B and English 12B as well runs the Chess Club, of which there is only one member.

Mrs. Connellee in her classroom with her ‘POP’ figures. Photo by Caidyn Hutchinson.

Connellee grew up in a rural small town in Ontario, Canada, where she enjoyed playing many sports such as volleyball, baseball and basketball. More so than sports, she enjoyed her classes, which lead to graduating from her high school with honors and went to Wilfrid Laurier University where she got her bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in political science. Her family lived on a 200 acre farm.

She has a husband named Stephen and two sons named Noah and Elijah who are ages 7 and 5 respectively. Eli is in kindergarten and Noah is in second grade in Richland Elementary School. They both enjoy hockey and spend a lot of time at the rinks on the weekends. Mrs. Connellee loves to tell stories about her sons while teaching.

 She has been teaching at Gull Lake two years, before which she was teaching at a middle school for five years. She became interested in English because of her love of books.

“I also love seeing students get something they had trouble with before or a student who was opposed to reading find a good book and realize what mysteries can be found in a book,” she said. “I also enjoy hearing students point of view and new ideas.”

She chose to become a teacher because she also loves to discussing ideas with students, but her favorite part of teaching is how unpredictable it is.

“Teaching is a new adventure every day,” she said. “You have a plan and you know what your goals are but sometimes a lesson doesn’t go the way you planned or a student makes a discovery/point that you hadn’t considered and it changes your plan or adds to it.”

Connellee also enjoys swimming, spending time with her children, and reading books, claiming to have a massive collection across many genres at her home.

Also of note is that she has a large collection of Pop! Funko figurines.

“It started with my love of Guardians of the Galaxy and Groot in particular,” she said. “My husband surprised me with it as a joke and it has grown from there. He is often the one who buys them for me and they are reminders of the the books/shows we like together. So I have a huge collection from Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. I have at least six groots and a handful of other characters from books/shows/movies that I enjoy.”

Her main belief about teaching is this: “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.”

She said that she always strives to do the very best work she possibly can when she’s working, and for her, hard work and dedication have always pushed her forward and with even a little bit of effort, anything can be made into a possibility.

A series of graphs detailing Mrs. Connellee’s Pop! collection. Courtesy of Austin Miller.

Austin Miller

I am in 12th grade. I am a reporter for the magazine.

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