Staff Spotlight: Ms Wnek

Service, volunteerism, leadership. Those are some of the main goals all members of the RMHS Rotary Interact club, a club run by Izabella Wnek, have for themselves. Wnek leads a group of 60 individuals and introduces them to what it means to serve and lead your community. She’s helped lead them to do service projects for places such as Uganda and Guatemala, raising money or supplies to ship to those in need. And she doesn’t only reflect this in a high school service club. Whether it be her English classes, with her colleagues or with her family, she always has a mindset of putting others first and loves seeing other people grow. 


Before arriving at Rolling Meadows, Wnek wasn’t always a teacher. She started as a communications and public relations major, graduating from Loyola University Chicago with a goal of working in corporate America. However, soon after pursuing her “dream work”, she realized that it wasn’t all what she had hoped for. She went back to school to become a teacher, specifically an English teacher, and a new career was born for her. After teaching 5 years in Chicago Public Schools and 2 years at Elk Grove high school, she landed at Rolling Meadows High School, and hasn’t looked back since. 


When I asked her about her favorite part of RMHS, similarly to others, she had too many things listed off to count. 


 “ My colleagues honestly… I’ve worked at multiple schools, the passion the staff has here for their students and their job… They all realize that we’re building something special here. Most people I’ve met I can connect with on a personal record; I enjoy coming here everyday.” She also talked about her students, the diversity, and community of Rolling Meadows as some of her favorites, to name just a few. 


Wnek has taught all of the English classes you can think of. Written Oral Communication, American Literature, World Literature, British Literature, Expository and Creative Writing, as well as others. She most recently started teaching College Speech for seniors, a class I’ve had the pleasure of being in. She hopes one day to be able to start her own class and curriculum, with her dream classes being things like Fairy Tales, Weather, Climatology, Astronomy or spoken word poetry.  


Outside of the classroom, Wnek has tons of different hobbies and leadership roles. She is the sponsor for the student service club Rotary Interact, an assistant coach on the speech team, and helps out with the Freshman WOW (Week of Welcome) every year. She also loves camping, being outdoors, dancing and cooking. She loves to cook Italian and Mexican food, specifically when she is cooking with her husband. 


However, Wnek’s biggest passion is her family. 


When asked about her family, her face lit up with joy. She has a husband who also happens to be an educator. He teaches Biology at Fenwick High School in Oak Park and has 3 daughters, Emilia (4th), Olivia (3rd) and Julia (Kindergarten). 

They all play soccer, play the violin and all go to Polish School every week.


 “I’ve always told my girls the two best things for your brain are music and a 2nd language… students who know how to read music and play an instrument… have really good problem solving and communication skills.” 


While she hasn’t been at RMHS for the longest time compared to other teachers, Ms. 

Wnek has already made her mark here and seems to be enjoying it as well. She claims she wants to retire here and that this has been her favorite job in her whole career. 


Role Model?

“My parents for sure, they were polish immigrants… they both came here during the Cold War. They’ve worked hard and sent all 4 of their kids to school. In a time when it was easy to assimilate to American culture, they made sure we stayed true to our polish culture… I think who I am and my Polish culture and the love they showed us continues to inspire me today.”


Fun Facts about Ms. Wnek

  1. She was born with a birthmark in her hair, still has a white streak of hair where it is.  
  2. She is double jointed!


Fast Facts with Ms. Wnek

Waffles or Pancakes?


Cookies or Brownies?


Night or morning?


Hanging out with little kids or adults?


Salad or sandwich?


Passenger or driver?


College or high school?


Guacamole or Salsa?


Dogs or cats?


Books or movies?