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Bell inspires students, wins Teacher of the Year award

Ms.+Bell+helps+a+student+create+a+foldable+for+a+lesson.+
Ms. Bell helps a student create a foldable for a lesson.

Ms. Bell helps a student create a foldable for a lesson.

Staff Photo by Chase Cofield

Staff Photo by Chase Cofield

Ms. Bell helps a student create a foldable for a lesson.

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This year’s Teacher of the Year award was awarded to Melissa Bell, the beloved and well-known math teacher who innovates her methods of teaching to make math as fun as possible for her students.

The Teacher of the Year award began the same year that the school was opened, in 2000. Teachers are asked to nominate a colleague whom they want their Teacher of the Year to be then narrow it down to the top five or six. After that first selection, those five or six teachers are put before the entire staff to select a winner. This year, Bell was chosen by the staff due to her ability to turn math into an easier subject for her students by changing and innovating her way of teaching.

“I think one thing that makes me a little bit different from other teachers is that I don’t stand up there [in front of the class], give out information and just make [the students] do it.” Bell said, “It’s more interactive.”

Having this award is an honorable way to recognize teachers and award them for their hard work, perseverance, and willingness on their mission to build the future generations.

“It’s a way of recognizing teachers who are really good at what they do, for them to be honored by their peers is a big honor” Melissa Thomas, Assistant Principal and organizer of the award, said. “It shows that they recognize the great things that Ms. Bell does in the classroom and for her students.”

Bell came from a poor family who really pushed her to go to both high school and college so that education could open her doors to opportunities in life. She went to college not knowing what she wanted to graduate in. Today Bell does not hesitate to express how essential education is and express her love for her career. But, ironically, she never planned to become a teacher at all.

“Believe it or not, teaching was not something that I thought I was going to do.” Bell said, “I think it was divine, a calling. Good, effective math teachers, or teachers in general, are called to teach. They don’t come to work, they get to come to work”

Students openly convey how Bell’s dedication and enthusiasm clearly show through her way of teaching and helping the students as much as she can.

“Having Ms. Bell as a teacher is knowing you have a hard class, but knowing it’s going to be easy,” sophomore Makaela Stokes said,

“If math is not your strong suit, you know that you can go to Ms. Bell and you can have time to understand the subject.””

— Stokes

Junior Jason Keenan, who has Bell for his third period class this semester, agrees on Bell’s willingness to help students and her energetic personality.

“She’s always happy and willing to help somebody if they need it,” Keenan said.

For Bell, there are two main keys that lead to success and winning awards– or simply overcoming challenges in life.

“Number one is community, group and people. You gotta be able to work with people,” Bell said. “Number two, you gotta be able to problem solve. You are probably never going to use the quadratic formula but you’re going to need to know how to reason through life like you reason through the formula.”

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The Voice of Wakefield High School
Bell inspires students, wins Teacher of the Year award