November 13, 2017
Teachers of the Month and Employees of the Month for November were honored at the Wakulla County School Board Meeting on November 13, 2017.
Teachers Frances Knight, Alisa Adkison and non-instructional personnel Martha Webster and Shonja Metcalf were selected by their peers to be recognized for their positive impact on Wakulla County students, staff, and community.
Riversprings Middle School Physical Education teacher Frances Knight earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Florida A & M University. Knight spent the first six years of her 38 years as an educator teaching at FAMU after graduating as an accomplished student-athlete.
She is in both the FAMU Athletic Hall of Fame and the FAMU Gallery of Distinction.
Knight began her Wakulla teaching and coaching career at Wakulla Middle School in 1986, then moved to RMS the year it opened in 2000. She enjoys “that the students know they can always count on me to guide them in the direction that will benefit them in a positive way.”
RMS Principal Michele Yeomans, a former student of Knight’s, refers to her as “the Matriarch of the Wakulla County School System. She has given so much more than she has ever received. She mentors struggling students by providing academic and emotional support. She continues to be a role model for each and every student and is quick to give credit to others instead of herself.”
In addition to coaching and teaching, Knight is the holiday fund-raising coordinator at RMS. “Each year she raises money at school and in the community so that our school’s families in need can have a good Thanksgiving and Christmas,” notes Principal Yeomans.
“She brings the true meaning of love into the classroom every day and is the true example of what a teacher should be.”
Adds Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “I have known Coach Knight as a distinguished educator since my internship with her when I was a beginning teacher. She is the complete educator with love and discipline for her students plus she has a great depth of knowledge of adolescent physical and emotional fitness.”
Crawfordville Elementary School’s Alisa Adkison enters her eighth year as a 5th Grade teacher. “I came to work for Wakulla County by way of Angie Walker,” Adkison says. “She was Principal of Crawfordville Elementary and needed a part-time teacher to provide assistance with remediation in a 5th Grade classroom. The following school year, she hired me as a full-time teacher in a 5th Grade inclusion classroom.”
After graduating from high school in Columbus, Georgia, Adkison earned her AA degree from Tallahassee Community College and her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Florida State University.
She enjoys working with students in small group settings and says, “Through small group instruction, I not only get to see my students grow academically, but I also get to experience their many-faceted personalities.”
In addition to teaching, she has coordinated the Crawfordville Spelling Bee for six years, plus been Grade Level English/Language Arts Representative for six years. She also serves as a Grade Level Project Learning Tree Representative.
Taking dedication to her students beyond the classroom, Adkison attends their extra-curricular activities when she can. “It is important to me for my students to know that I care about them both inside and outside of the classroom. Also, it makes me happy to see them get so excited when they realize I’m there!”
Notes Crawfordville Elementary Principal Belinda McElroy, “She is an amazing teacher! She is always well prepared for class and her lessons are rigorous and engaging for students. Mrs. Adkison is an excellent communicator. During parent conferences she has a special talent for making parents feel welcome and an important part of the team. Mrs. Adkison has a warm, caring heart.”
Martha Webster is November’s Employee of the Month and works in the Transportation Department.
She knows Wakulla County’s students and roads well. A product of Wakulla County schools, Webster graduated from Wakulla High School after attending Buckhorn School and Sopchoppy Elementary.
With over 22 years of experience as a bus driver, plus six years also helping out in the Wakulla School District Food Service Department, Webster has come in contact with hundreds of children per year. She is known for having positive relationships with her students, no matter what the setting.
Says WCSB Transportation Coordinator Pat Jones, “When I think about the traits that a good school bus driver must have, I see all of them in Ms. Webster. She requires respect from her students and she gets it. In return, she gives respect to her students and shows great concern for them.”
“She also sets a good example for all the school bus drivers in the way she cares for the safety of her students by taking excellent care of her new bus. She is dedicated, dependable, and one of our finest.”
Examples of the positive relationships she has with her students are recounted by Webster: “An officer of the law told me that he had watched my camera tape and said that my elementary kids were so well behaved. When my students have to transfer to another bus driver’s route, I have been told that my former riders are very respectful to their new drivers. All I can do is say thank you.”
Shonja Metcalf is November’s Employee of the Month as secretary for the district-wide Special Programs and Assessment Department. Her job connects her with every public school and administrator in Wakulla in many ways, including testing from Pre-K through adults, Title I, P-card requests, grant budgets, data, and more.
A product of Wakulla County schools, Metcalf attended Sopchoppy and Crawfordville Elementary Schools, Wakulla Middle School, and graduated from Wakulla High School. She notes, “I enjoy knowing that I’m a small part of an excellent school system that my children attend and that I also attended.”
Metcalf enters her 15th year working with Wakulla schools. After starting as a substitute teacher in 2003, she was hired as an ESE (Exceptional Student Education) paraprofessional at Riversprings Middle School. She says, “The most exciting thing for me is seeing a former student with Intellectual Disabilities that I worked with at RMS has graduated from WHS and now is employed by the Wakulla County School Board.”
Metcalf then moved into Data Entry at RMS for four years and next was hired in 2016 as the district-wide secretary for Special Programs and Assessment. She shares some of the positives of working with testing: “After my first year of helping District Director of Special Programs and Assessment Sue Anderson with state testing, we received letters from the Florida Department of Education that all of our testing materials were secured and accounted for. There are literally thousands of tests and answer sheets that our office must track for the many state tests given throughout a school year.”
She has also found time to stay active in her children’s activities, serving as a soccer parent volunteer for eight years and as a volleyball parent volunteer for five years, working concessions and helping support the teams in any way asked.
States District Director of Special Programs and Assessment Sue Anderson, “She is always one step ahead in terms of getting a task done. Shonja is always eager to learn something new. She is a quick learner and has become an expert with the State testing platforms, policies, and procedures.”
“Over the past few years working at the District Office, Shonja has developed positive relationships with district and school employees. She is a team worker and never says no when someone else at the District Office or at a school asks for help because of her expertise in an area. Shonja demonstrates all of the characteristics of a dedicated employee that any supervisor would want.”
Adds Superintendent Pearce, “These four are very deserving of the honor to be selected as Teachers and Employees of the Month by their peers. They are class acts who represent our school district well and truly have big hearts for our students.”