Walt Werner to retire, travel the world

Siobhan Harms

Science teacher Walt Werner will retire after 40 years at the school. Throughout his time at the school, he has taught Advanced Placement Biology and Environmental Science courses, as well as Human Anatomy and Physiology and Ocean and Marine Biology.

“I fully enjoyed being with and working with all the students here,” Werner said. “The students here are bright, motivated and interested. As a consequence, some amazing stuff happens in the classroom. It’s pretty amazing how when the classroom gets going, you just get this amazing dialogue.”

Werner said he has never been bored throughout his time at Harvard-Westlake because of the constant change and development in curricula.
“It has been a pleasurable time,” Werner said. “For example, AP Biology has changed significantly. The course now is the result of 40 years of trial and experimentation to find out what kinds of activities actually work and what are largely going to be successful.”

In addition, Werner enjoyed working at the school because of the extensive resources available to the faculty and staff, he said.

“This is a great place to be because you are allowed to branch out and experiment on your own,” Werner said. “The school, in my case, has been fairly generous. If I want to try something, the money is there to buy the stuff and try it which is very unusual.”

In retirement, Werner plans to spend time traveling and volunteering for various environmentally focused organizations, he said.

“[My wife and I] like to travel,” Werner said. “We’re going to be taking off for Europe next September and plan to spend five weeks there. I’m also hoping to get involved with some volunteer work with environmental programs.”