Golden Apple: Shelonda Houston


Shelonda Houston tried out a few other things before she decided to teach.  First, she served this country in the United States Air Force.

“I was always interested in airplanes,” Houston says. “So I became an air traffic controller. I did that for 11 years.”

Then it was back to college followed by a job in the criminal justice system followed by more college followed by a teaching job at McCormick Middle School. Today her 6th graders were learning prepositions and prepositional phrases.

“In order for them to be successful in writing and reading, they have to be able to identify these parts of speech and use them correctly.”

Ms. Houston cares about her kids because she’s seen how much a teacher’s love means in her own home.

“I have a 17 year old daughter and watching her grow up and watching these students grow up, I have a better insight.  The things that she has struggled with, seeing other students struggle with it, I have a better understanding.  My students know if they have any problems or issues, they can come talk to me. I’m just going to be honest with them and explain the right and wrong ways to handle situations.”

She’ll also stay late to make sure her students keep up with their work.

“I’m normally here until 4:30 or 5 o’clock, getting my lesson ready for the next day. I offer tutoring and the students can come to me with any problems or concerns.  Parents know they can contact me.”

And did we mention this McCormick, South Carolina teacher lives in Hephzibah, Georgia?  An hour here and an hour home every day.  But if you ask Shelonda Houston if it’s worth all that driving, she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I just love the community,” she says.  “I love my co-workers. The kids.”



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