Influencer of the Week: Wendy Cartwright, Ocoee High

Wendy Cartwright has been at Ocoee High since it opened its new campus 16 years ago.

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  • | 12:15 p.m. March 3, 2021
Courtesy Wendy Cartwright
Courtesy Wendy Cartwright
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Wendy Cartwright has been teaching and leading students at Ocoee High School since it opened in 2005, and she finds joy in helping her students become the best versions of themselves. As senior class adviser, SGA sponsor and instructor for the school’s leadership program, Cartwright wears many hats. She recently announced her upcoming move to Horizon High School this fall, where she will reunite with former Ocoee Principal Laura Beusse. 


What brought you to your school?

Dr. Mike Armbruster offered me the opportunity to start the Student Government Association program at Ocoee High School. Also, Dr. Armbruster and I had worked together in the past at West Orange High School, and I wanted to work with him again at OHS. 

What do you love most about your school?

I love the culture at Ocoee High School. The teachers are here for the students and put students first. We also have a wonderful sense of fellowship among the “staffulty” and the best marching band in Orange County Public Schools! 

What is your motivation?

My motivation is seeing the students succeed and learn how they can make a positive difference in their school and community. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is the relationships I have made with colleagues and students. I have made some lifelong friends and even teach with some of my former students.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I like to do arts and crafts at my beach condo!

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

My favorite teacher in school was Allen Chambers, my band director. I was drum major in high school, and Mr. Chambers taught me about leadership and the impact a good leader can have on an organization. 

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I actually wanted to be a teacher when I was a child. Throughout my time in middle and high school, I was very involved in the choral and instrumental music programs, which led to me earning a bachelor’s degree in music management. My senior internship was working with Disney’s Magic Music Days program. Through that internship, I rediscovered my interest in teaching and went back to school to earn a master’s degree in mathematics education. 

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

My favorite children’s book is the Harry Potter series, because it teaches the power of friendship, courage and love. Hermione Granger is my hero!

Who would you say is your biggest inspiration and why?

My biggest inspiration is my family. My husband is a firefighter/paramedic, and I have two college-age daughters. They inspire me to always be the best version of myself.  

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

If I could have any superpower it would be teleportation/time travel. I enjoy traveling and learning about other cultures but do not like the time it takes to get there. 

If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

STYX — best band ever! Pentatonix (because) I love to harmonize when I sing. Anything Disney, because Disney is my happy place!


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