Math educator named top teacher


photo or infographic by Emelly Melendez

SOLVING PROBLEMS. WHS Teacher of the Year math teacher Michelle Adkison helps a student with a problem on the board. Adkison was elected by her fellow teachers to move on to the district Teacher of the Year competition.

An educator. An inspirer. A motivator. An example. A teacher. All these titles describe the school’s teacher of the year, math teacher Michele Adkison. She was announced as the Teacher of the Year in late March. 

The honoree admits she always wanted to become a teacher ever since she was in school. 

“This is my 12th year teaching,” Adkison said. ¨I have always wanted to be a teacher. Those papers kids fill out in elementary school on what they want to be, I answered a math teacher.”

Being a teacher can be one of the hardest jobs, but it can also be one of the most rewarding jobs as well.

“I am not sure I could come up with a single best day,” she said. “Most days are great. The students are amazing, and I enjoy teaching them each day.”

She also has a day that stands out as less than perfect. 

“Unfortunately a worst day story is the easiest to remember,” Adkison said. “I remember having a student for years. He had brain damage. It was a challenge for him to learn.”

Michele Adkison talks about how the student was in her class all four years working for his credits for graduation. 

“He remained my student every year from his freshman year to his senior year,” she said. “It  was definitely a struggle for a while, but he finally got his credits and was going to graduate!  About a week before graduation I received the news he passed away.’

It was hard to hear the news. According to Adkison, it was the toughest time of her career as an educator.  

“It was a very sad time in my teaching career,” she said. “He was an amazing young man with so much potential, to be lost at such a young age.”

Adkison speaks about what she says when students mention that they hate math in her class. 

“Most kids hate math, and I get this all the time,” she said. 

Humor is her best comeback when students are struggling with her class or math in general. 

“My response is maybe math doesn’t like you today either,” Adkison said. “That usually gets a laugh out of the student, calms them down and we are able to determine what part of the lesson they are having problems with.”