Crestview High’s newest educators bring enthusiasm to teaching

Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 10:29 AM.

In Danielle Phillips’ classroom, Jones observed as students “died” in waves during a vivid illustration of the Black Death, a plague that affected Europe in the mid-1300s. As Phillips called out colors to match cards students held, various segments of the classroom’s population sat down, indicating their deaths.

“The passion she has for what she was doing and the way she did all kinds of different activities in a 50-minute class kept the kids so engaged,” Jones said. “It speaks great volumes for the future of education —and the future of our children — that we have these (kinds) of teachers.”

In a third-period classroom, Tammie Dillon helped build her students’ enthusiasm for reading as they discussed the novel, “The Hunger Games.” Teaching exceptional education students adds an extra challenge, Jones said, but like Katniss, the book’s heroine, Dillon and her kids persevere.

“Excellent! That is excellent,” she said to a student, as she paced a classroom she decorated in spring green accents. The student grinned broadly upon his achievement’s recognition.

Like Dillon, math teacher Michelle Hokans, the school’s youngest teacher, is fresh out of college.

“I don’t have a degree in education. My degree’s in math,” Hokans said. “It’s fun to know what you’re teaching. It’s doing what you enjoy.”

 Molding minds

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