Cullen Webster, CLASS OF 2008
Cullen Webster graduated from University High School in 2008. After high school, he attended IUPUI and earned a degree in physical education. He currently works as a P.E. teacher at Westfield Intermediate School and is an assistant coach with the University High School boys basketball team. Below, Cullen answers a few questions about being a teacher and how University prepared him for college and beyond.
What have you been up to since leaving University?
I graduated from IUPUI with a degree in physical education. I am currently a P.E. teacher at Westfield Intermediate School. I am also a member of the coaching staff for the boys basketball team for UHS.
How do you feel University best prepared you for college and life beyond?
Perhaps my favorite aspect of University was the strong sense of community. Being a member of a tight-knit community allowed me to feel comfortable and encouraged my success. When at college, especially a bigger university, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. Because of my time at University, I knew how important creating my own community was. I knew in order to have success in college, I had to create my own community like I had at UHS.
Do you see that the core values you learned at University still apply to your life now? How?
Yes, all of the core values are applicable throughout my life now. The core value that stands out as a teacher is mutual respect, support, and trust. In order to create relationships and connections with my students, a foundation of mutual respect, support, and trust is essential. If we don’t have that in the classroom, I find it very difficult to have open and honest communication with my students.
How did what you learned at University prepare you for this challenging year as a teacher?
I am very grateful that at University you have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities. I did numerous activities that were out of my comfort zone. I was able to learn how to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. Teaching this past year has certainly been a new and challenging experience. My time at UHS taught me how to succeed with new challenges.
Now that you are a teacher what would you like to say to your teachers at University?
When creating an answer for this question, I found it very difficult. I realized I was struggling with creating a blanket statement for all my teachers. I had individual relationships with all my teachers, so my answer for each teacher and relationship would be different. I decided to pick one teacher that I still talk to today. Greg Schellhause was my P.E. teacher and basketball coach when I was at University. I learned a great deal from him during my time at University and after.
To Greg, I would say thank you for showing me the importance of picking something you are passionate about. From Greg I learned the importance of building relationships with students and creating positive energy in the gym/classroom. I want my students to view me in a similar way. I want them to know that I am still there for them even when they leave my class.