Tell us about your public school journey.
I was a Niagara Wildcat from kindergarten through 6th grade, a South Junior High Cadet from 7th grade through 9th grade, and then a Henderson County High School Colonel through high school when I graduated in 1995. After high school, I attended Henderson Community College for one year then transferred to Western Kentucky University where I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a Middle School Math endorsement in May of 2000. I returned home to Henderson to begin my teaching career at North Junior High as a freshman math teacher and moved to 8th grade when the 9th grade moved to the high school. While teaching math at North Junior High, I continued my education at WKU where I obtained my Master of Arts in Education in Elementary School Guidance in 2003 then my Rank I in Secondary School Guidance in 2005. Lastly, I went on to pursue my Master of Arts in Education in School Administration at Murray State University and completed this degree in 2011.
As I look back over my public-school journey, I loved the wonderful teachers and coaches who believed in me and pushed me to be my best. The one aspect that helped mold me into the person I am today is the relationships that I built along the way. These relationships will be cherished forever!
When you think back on your experience in public school, are there specific instances or relationships that stand out to you as having had a significant impact on your success since graduating?
When I think back to my elementary school experience, Mary Nell Reeder and Francis Cohron are two teachers whom I absolutely adored. Ms. Reeder was so caring and a very genuine person. She truly loved her students and took the time to really get to know each of them. Ms. Cohron's class was a place of exploratory learning and we always had so much fun. She loved science and had some of the coolest things displayed in her classroom. Her passion for learning was so contagious that you couldn't help but love science too. In middle school, Susan Miller and Tim Tennyson are two teachers who stand out to me. There was never a dull moment in Ms. Miller's science class. We were always doing hands-on activities to learn new things. She was an amazing individual who truly loved teaching. Mr. Tennyson was one who never gave up on his students. I remember to this day struggling with proofs in geometry, and he did everything he could to help me understand them. In high school, I would say that Dale Ayer and Johnnie Mathias had the biggest impact on me. The highlight of my day during high school was going to Ag (Agriculture) class. Mr. Ayer and Mr. Mathias were definitely two teachers who knew the impact of building relationships not only with their students but also their students' families. Mr. Mathias kept things so real and would just shoot it to you straight. Mr. Mathias cared for his students like they were his own. Mr. Ayer was caring and so supportive of his students. These two teachers were always there for their students.
My experience as an HCS student was absolutely amazing. I want to have that same impact on students whom I have previously taught and those whom I will encounter in the years to come. As I think back to those educators who impacted my life over my public school journey, I want students to think about me in the same manner years down the road.