March Teacher Of The Month: Jessica Shadix

Each month, Marshall ISD celebrates the outstanding contributions of our campus faculty to the overall educational experience of our students. These professionals work countless extra hours at home, on weekends, and over holiday breaks with one focus in mind -- to make MISD and their campus Marshall Proud and Maverick Strong for our students.

The Teacher of the Month for March 2018 at Marshall High School, as selected by Principal, Mrs. Tina Brown, is Mrs. Jessica Shadix, who serves as Agriscience Teacher and Marshall FFA Advisor at MHS.

"Mrs. Shadix does so much for the students at Marshall High School," said Mrs. Brown in nominating Jessica. "Her dedication and commitment to her FFA kids is genuine and extraordinary. Marshall has long been proud of its FFA program and Jessica has come in this year and is committed to rebuilding that program and making it one of the top FFA programs in the state once again. We are so glad she is here with us at Marshall High School."

shadixTeacher: Jessica Shadix

Hometown/High School: "I grew up in Gary, TX and went the GISD all twelve years. I graduated with 15 others, which is smaller than some of my classes I teach during the day...that's funny to me."

College/Degree Earned: "I went to Panola College for 2 years and then transferred to Tarleton State University where I received my Bachelors Degree in Agricultural Education, 6-12, with a minor in Biology. I am also certified to teach Art and Science."

Grade Level/Subject(s) Taught: "I have taught Animal Science, Forestry, Wildlife, Principles of Agriculture, Horticulture, Floral Design, Advanced Plant and Soil Science, Livestock Production, and Veterinary Medicine. There are over 30 Agricultural courses offered in our pathway and I have dabbled in just about all of them. I am also certified to teach Welding and Ag Mechanics, but have never taught those courses."

Family: "My husband, Luke, is the Welding Instructor here at Marshall High School. This is his first year teaching and I LOVE being able to come to work with him! Just being able to do what I love, with someone I love makes my job even more special! I always knew he would make a great teacher and I get to see that happen daily. I am the mom to Evan, 21 months, and Ethan, 4 months, and the stepmom to Bailey, 9 years old and Cady, 4 years old. I always said 'I'd never go home,' meaning I wanted to move off and see the world. I did that, but now I live very close to my parents, Mike and Tracy Stutes, and my sister Michelle. Having my children grow up with them being so close is the best feeling. I am grateful for that."

Hobbies/Things I like to do in my spare time: "Spare time? Haha! I love to spend time with my family most of all! I love to fish, hunt, play basketball, volleyball and tennis. Anything outdoors is great with me!"

What made you want to enter a career as a teacher?: "I had some AMAZING role models growing up! My County Extension Agent, Mr. Doug McKinney, who is now the Beef Specialist at Oklahoma State University, taught me so much by hauling me across the state and country with my Livestock Judging team and showing pigs. I was able to see the world through Agriculture and that started my passion for Agricultural Education. My Ag Teacher, Mr. Tim Boone, continued that passion by introducing me to Forestry. I'm pretty sure I spent more time 'in the woods' than I did in my Ag classroom, but that's what made me love it! Being able to see, touch, and do something while learning made that class my favorite! Mr. Boone taught me to be a 'humble winner and a gracious loser," and I try to instill that in to my students. My parents were also a HUGE influence in my path to education. Neither graduated from college, but both worked so hard to show me that education was important. They saw the benefits of Agricultural Education for me and always encouraged me to participate in everything I could. From my participation and them inspiring me, I was able to qualify for over $35,000 in scholarships which funded my degree. I can remember playing in a basketball game and then us leaving for trips to Livestock Shows or them picking me up from the State Tennis tournament and taking me to a pig show. They were selfless and knew that my hard work would pay off, and it did. If I wouldn't have had all of these experiences, I wouldn't have seen the benefits of education and things might have turned out differently for me."

What  do you see as your most important role as a teacher?: "I'm lucky! My job as an educator is to make sure students are prepared for life in the 'real world." Yes, I use Agriculture to do it, but I get to teach students about manners, professionalism, resumes, getting a job and keeping it, public speaking, how to tip at a restaurant, and so many things that they need to know now and in the future. My role is to make sure students see their potential and to make sure they go after their dreams. It is my personal goal to make sure all students know what they are capable of, because I will push them to be competitive and successful through Agriculture. Students don't have to go in to a career in Agriculture for it to help them with life! That is amazing to me!"

Who were some of the most influential teachers/educators in your life?
"I mentioned some already, but there are a few 'non-ag' teachers whom I didn't appreciate until I was older. I thought FFA and Ag were very important, but I was also involved in sports in High School. Going to a small school meant that we all needed to be a part of everything. So, I played Volleyball, Tennis, Track, Golf, Basketball, was a Cheerleader and was on the Cross Country Team. My parents instilled a competitive spirit in me that made me a pretty good athlete. BUT, without teachers like my History Teacher Mr. King who taught me to write notes faster than most people or my Chemistry Teacher Mrs. Hankins who made sure I didn't get any slack on keeping up with my work when I was out, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I didn't know back then 'why Chemistry was sooooo important,' because I wanted to be at a Livestock Show or on the Basketball court. But as an adult I realize that all teachers want the best for students. It wasn't about 'taking notes' in Mr. King's class, it was about being ready for that college class where I would take endless notes. It wasn't about learning the periodic table in Chemistry, it was learning about managing my time and juggling all aspects of school, just like I would need to do in life. I am thankful for these teachers and all of my teachers at Gary High School!"

What do you enjoy the most about teaching and serving specifically at Marshall High School?: "Marshall High School is the best campus I have ever worked at. In my 11 years I have taught in several districts and even ventured to Colorado for two years. I have been able to work with some amazing people and for some great districts, but nothing beats Marshall! The support here is beyond comparison. The way that the Administration supports our program and our students and sees the benefit of what we do for them is something that I can almost not explain. I am grateful to have such an awesome job that I enjoy coming to each day. We recently had to spend some time in the hospital with my son and Mrs. Hampton, Mrs. Brown, and Mr. Chilcoat all checked in on us and made sure that we knew that our family was important to them. It truly meant a lot to us!"

What are some things you hope to accomplish in your career? Future plans?: "I am excited about my future at MHS. I know that as we begin to rebuild our program and show the MISD and the Marshall community that Agriculture Education and Marshall FFA is meant for all students, that we will become more successful each year. The classroom aspect of our job is only a small portion of what we do. It is my goal to show students through hands-on Agriculture lessons that they can be successful in everything that they set their minds on! In the future I would like to start my graduate degree, but I am torn. I would love a job that consisted of teaching agriculture, helping students with scholarships and college readiness, as well as some sort of administrative role. But I'm not sure if that exists, haha! I know that the classroom is where I should be and is my passion. The joy on students' faces when they are successful is the most rewarding thing I can think of in my career."
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