JoAnn Tisdale Teacher of the Year
Leigh "Suzy" Houston
East Mississippi Community College
Suzy Houston has been in adult education for over 14 years, and she is unique in many ways. She always thinks and finds solutions to help our students, staff, and the program. Not only does She care about our program, but she also acts as a caretaker for her mother and in-laws. While assisting aging parents can be stressful, she never complains and is always willing to remain steadfast as an adult education instructor and data manager. I witnessed a student reach out to her a couple of months ago to express some challenges she had been facing. She brought it to my attention, but being the great person she is, she reached out to the student, offered her resources and encouragement, and told her she could always return to class when things got better.
Suzy does so much and never complains. She has gained the courage to be an influential instructor, motivator, and advocate for her students. She often sets aside time to tutor students who need extra help. She is wholeheartedly committed to the cause of being available for adult education, our students, and our program. As previously mentioned, Suzy is heavily relied upon at home and to assist with aging parents. Nevertheless, her duties at home never interferes with her work attendance or the productivity of her duties while at work.
Suzy goes above and beyond because she is so passionate about our program and her community that she can be relied upon to contribute to outreach projects promoting our program. She keeps a great rapport with school faculty and staff, allowing her to stay abreast of mathematical concepts to help our students transition to post-secondary education/training. Additionally, She has worked alongside MS OAE state staff as a committee member in helping develop the eDULT online HSE classes' math component and taught in the first pilot. This PY She participated in the CCRS Curriculum Institute and is contracted with another program to serve as their CCRS Curriculum Review Trainer. As one can see, She is open to assisting where needed to propel AE and other programs forward. On top of being an extraordinary math instructor of day and night classes, this wonderful person also serves as our data input manager. As data input manager, she is a true "gatekeeper" and always maintains integrity. More importantly, she keeps us (the program) on track! I honestly could not ask for a better employee like her, who values ethics and punctuality and always strives to do good for the students and our program. This employee is also a daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother of two grandsons and one granddaughter. When she is not discussing work (which she does a lot), you can always bet she will usher in a conversation about her family, especially her grandkids.
Others should be inspired by her tenacity, integrity, work ethic, and love for others. Suzy is a leader that leads by example. If she expects her students to perform at a certain level, her performance will match her expectations. One of my favorite inspiring moments that I've had the pleasure to witness from she is when she is wrong or feels that she can do better by a person or situation, she will sit down and talk with me, acknowledging her wrongs or provide me with suggestions on how to do things better. To me, that speaks volumes and is commendable.
Her knowledge and skills are invaluable and help produce great successes within our AE program and at the state level. She is an extraordinary math instructor who continually works to develop her craft and frequently assists her colleagues in developing theirs. She has been instrumental in developing and facilitating student workshops in math and science and offering professional development for our AE staff. She is a GREAT person, wife, mother, instructor, and employee who values people and doing things the right way. If anyone is deserving of this accolade, it is her!
(information above was taken directly from the nomination submission)