A-West math teacher Alison Bonger reflects on time with students


Josh Strait

Alison Bonger poses outside her room.

Alison Bonger has been a teacher at Arvada West High School for 13 years. Bonger currently teaches Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 Honors.

Her eyes were opened when she found her passion for her job and ran with it. Students who struggle with math and school are put into her Algebra 1 class, and the ones that have a gift for math are put into her honors class.

Bonger strives for the “Ah-hah!” moments and it could be 10 days till her students get it, but she strives for students to achieve their full potential.

“It’s so much more than math for me,” she stated.

She loves to be apart of her student’s lives. Before she became a mother of two, she was very active in the Arvada West community.

Bonger chaperoned at dances and participated in football games.

“It was half of my life, but when I can connect with you guys in your own zone, I love that,” she said. 

Bonger says having her own personal life now has an impact in what she can do at Arvada West.

“I can’t stay late, I have to leave here at 3 to pick up my kids. I have to come in early if I want to pick up extra hours.”

She has wanted to be a teacher her whole life. As a child growing up, she and her sister always played teacher with their stuffed animals. She originally wanted to be a elementary school teacher but she changed her mind and decided to run with her passion of math and become a high school teacher.

“I want to be here at least two more decades,” she stated.

At least every year an alumni pops back into Bonger’s class and thanks her. Watching her students grow from being freshmen to saying goodbye in the gauntlet is what keeps her steam going. If it was not for the students and the passion that it gives her, she would not be a teacher.        

Bonger stated “Do what you love, pick a career that you get more than the money from. Pick something that you love doing. I truly love my job. Sometimes I’ll have a rough morning and there is nothing harder than starting a 1st period class, but within the first 10 minutes, these kids have me smiling and it is like medicine to me. That’s what I love about my job.”

“Keep your head up no matter, in your career, your relationships, your life. Always find the good in things,” said Bonger.