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33 + Years of Teaching


When asked, Mrs. Jo Ann used these words to describe herself, “A wife, mother,

grandmother, great grandmother, teacher, and most importantly, a Christian.

Mrs. Jo Ann is originally from Virginia. She moved to Mississippi at the

age of thirteen. In third grade, she realized she wanted to be a teacher. She was inspired

by her 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Wells, who brought her class paper to build the city

of Rome. This teacher also inspired her to bring creativity to her own class.

“I encourage my students to put their ALL into everything that they do,” she

said. When Mrs. Jo Ann teaches, she does not like to sit. She likes to stand and add

animation to her teaching. She never wants to be considered a dull teacher.

What was frustrating to Mrs. Jo Ann as a student teacher, was that she

was only a student teacher for 2 weeks, but it was satisfying to receive her

own classroom so soon. The biggest challenge Mrs. Jo Ann faces as a teacher is the

students that have a bad home life. Those students do not get the help that

they need from their parents, and are always worried about home more than

their school work which makes me sad.

Her favorite grade to teach was 3rd grade for a long time. She said, “Third

graders are not too old to run up and give you a hug, and they are young enough

for you to discipline and it make a difference in their lives.” While third grade was

her favorite grade to teach, her years teaching at Union have been her favorite.

“Energetic, diligent, compassionate, organized, and old are adjectives

That would describe me as a teacher,” she said. Mrs. JoAnn has not always

been the teacher you know her as today. She had other jobs before she went

back to college to earn her teaching degree at the age of 37.

As a student in elementary school, Mrs. Jo Ann always had good grades,

and she encourages students today to always try their best. One student that

really sticks out in Mrs. Jo Ann’s mind is Hanna Bedwell, “because Hanna

taught me the meaning of unconditional love.” Here’s to 33+ years of teaching!

We love you! –Nikhita Villafranco


UNION CHURCH CHRISTIAN ACADEMY