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Lady Literature 

Posted 02/15/2024 by Emanuel Morales-Gomez

Ms. Wilson is challenging and changing the minds of the future. photo by Emanuel Morales-Gomez

Many people truly don’t know just how much Amber Wilson does to help students get the education they need.

For the past 24 years, Amber Wilson has been working to develop the minds of the future through the teachings of English Literature. She has spent more than half of her teaching life here at Thomas Jefferson High School, and currently teaches English 2 Honors, AP Seminar, and AP Literature and Composition. 

Before becoming a teacher, Wilson graduated high school in 1992 and went to Colorado State University in Fort Collins to major in Pre-Business. However, she did not feel as strong of a connection to Business as she did to English, so she decided to transfer to the University of Colorado in Denver to major in English Literature and minor in Communications. Wilson then worked for the U.S. Export Assistance Center (which is a part of the Department of Commerce) and Charles Schwab, doing mutual funds clearing. She did not feel happy in the corporate world, so she went back to Metropolitan State University in 1999 and got her teaching endorsement and certification. Her first year teaching was at West High School in the 2000-2001 school year.  In 2017, she started working towards her master’s degree from Colorado State University-Global in Teaching and Learning with an emphasis in Teacher Leadership, which she finished in 2018. 

Wilson now teaches her favorite subject to her students by guiding them through this “productive struggle,” where she believes the learning is actually happening. Moreover, she believes that this “discomfort allows students to grow” and develop necessary skills needed for their future. She teaches students to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and researchers who “use more than google to find their answers.” 

These are among the many reasons why she fought so hard for the new AP Seminar course to finally score a spot in the TJ curriculum. Wilson thought “sophomores could really get into this course with it involving a lot of student choice and research on problems the world currently faces.” Even though it started off rough as students learned new skills, she loves teaching the class because when students are sharing their research, she feels as though she is “walking around and listening to a room filled with experts,” since the students know their topic front and back. 

Students getting invested in topics that affect them and making a connection between literature and the real world is something Wilson deeply cherishes about teaching English. Wilson explained that, “literature is a way for students to connect with each other and humanity.” She not only wants her students to leave with a love of learning and literature, but also the knowledge that their “passions are worthy enough to follow” and that they have the power to make change. 

Wilson follows her passions as well by sponsoring different activities/clubs such as TJ Classical League and TJ’s Gifted and Talented (GT) lunches. Wilson is the chapter advisor for TJ Classical League, which keeps the classical studies alive in the modern world. This club is aligned with the Colorado Junior Classical League (COJCL) and the National Junior Classical League (NJCL), where they study Ancient Rome and Greece’s cultures and history as well as learning the Latin language. She is also the GT site coordinator, which means she sponsors GT student lunches twice a month, which creates an environment where “students can come and learn how to crochet, learn how to do origami, play uno, play chess, etc.” Wilson wanted to create a place for students to have time to do what they want and hang out.

Wilson loves being a part of the TJ community because of the staff and the student body. Moreover, she likes the diversity of the student body and the special connection she has with the staff. She feels as though she is in a “close-knit family” with the staff. Wilson loved TJ’s community so much that in 2019, she purchased a house in the neighborhood. 

Wilson not only creates change in the minds of students, but also in the minds of adults through her position as a board member for the Denver Classroom Teacher Association and the secretary-treasurer for the Colorado Education Association (CEA). Here, she oversees the CEA budget and makes sure they are being fiscally responsible. This is important to her because she believes in “the collective power of working people” and that “educators should have a place at the table because they know best about what is going on in school.” 

Wilson believes in this so much that she is running for Vice President next year for the CEA during the state-wide election that happens every year in April. There, they discuss what educators want in Colorado education and how they can help students thrive in school. Her vision is to have a fully funded education in Colorado by pushing for funding at the legislative level. However, if she does get elected, she would have to leave TJ. Though it would be bittersweet, she would be able to do more for students in Colorado in that position. 

Even though she has so many things to do in her life, Wilson still has time to camp, travel, read, knit, crochet, and sponsor student travel. Student travel is especially important for her because she believes that it “broadens our world and opens our minds to things we never knew existed.” She is currently sponsoring a trip to Croatia and Slovenia, so if one is interested in attending the trip, Wilson can be contacted at

Based on the impact she has had on the TJ student body and staff and Colorado’s general education so far, the community cannot wait to see what she does next. Spartans, make sure to go say “hi” to the English teacher walking her corgis in the TJ neighborhood because she is leading the charge for a better education for all.