New Employee Interviews

Vale Gonzalez, Newspaper Staff Member

Interview (Paraphrased) with Mrs. Reeves

Mrs. Reeves teaches English I and Accelerated English I.  Her room number is C221.

1.What made you want to teach at Pearl?

I have always wanted to teach at Pearl, because it is a school that is its own district, and that was something that was a really interesting concept for a school, and also the people – that is, a great group of kids, administrators, and teachers, and it feels like a community and very welcoming.

2.What made you want to teach English?

My mom has taught English for 29 years, and she has always grown up with her teaching, and all her kids where all like brothers and sisters, and she saw how compassionate her mom was to the kids, and she wanted to be like her, and she loves literature, and that is something that she loves to teach and make sure kids understand. Her mom was really an inspiration for her.

3. Where did she go to college and what did she study there?

I went to college at MS state and studied Secondary English Education.  I was an Education Major the whole way through and always knew I wanted to teach.

4. How long has she been teaching?

This is my first year teaching.

5. Who in your life inspired her to be a teacher?

Her mother, she really showed her what it means to be tough but soft at the same time, she really showed her how to balance everything emotionally and everything, and compare herself to a porcupine soft in the inside and hard on the outside.

6. Where is she from originally and where did she go to school?

I’m from Magee, MS.

7. What does she like to do outside of work and on the weekends?

She travels a lot because of her husband, every time there is a concert she goes to, she likes to read, she likes to walk and hang out with the cats, and watch reality TV shows.

8. Where is the most fascinating place she has ever been in?

She went to Canada, and saw the place a national park and one of the most beautiful places she’s ever been, and a museum.

9. What is her favorite current TV show, movie, and song?

Favorite movie ratatouille, song really likes Lizzo, and the Bachelorette.

10. What are the three most interesting facts about her?

She used to have a pet hedgehog, she has a double row eyelash, she doesn’t like country music.


Interview with Mr. Westerfield

Mr. Westerfield teaches U.S. History.  His room number is C108.

1.What made you want to teach at Pearl?

The personality of the people here.  They reached out to me and asked me if I would be interested in a position that was available here, and after interviewing and being offered the job, I decided to go to a school with a good reputation and most importantly, a good personality–warm, welcoming, always willing to help, checking on you to see if you need anything or how you are doing, and very family-oriented.

 2.What made you want to teach U.S. History?

I wanted to teach U.S. History because that is what I had been teaching for a number of years and wanted to continue working with someone that I had worked with in the past and knew me and knew the content like I did.

3. Where did you go to college and what did you study there?

I went to Hinds Community College (because it was affordable and near and allowed me time to adjust to college and get credits and not have to immediately go off to a university and not be too expensive), Holmes Community College (because it was close to my house and also affordable and offered good instruction), Mississippi State (because that was where I had always wanted to go), and Jackson State (because I wanted to get additional courses to be certified to teach more higher level courses such as dual credit classes).

4. How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching thirteen years prior to this year.  So, this is year fourteen.  I say thirteen because I have not actually finished my fourteenth year.

5. Who in your life inspired you to be a teacher?

Members of my family but also a friend of mine in high school remarked once that he wanted to be a college History professor.  So, that got me to thinking, and I realized that History is what I have always loved.  So, I went to study Social Studies Education and got a Bachelor’s and Master’s in both so I could teach History.

6. Where are you from originally and where did you go to school?

I am originally from Brandon, MS (born in Flowood but have lived on the Ross Barnett Reservoir all my life), and I went to Northwest Rankin High School.

7. What do you like to do outside of work and on the weekends?

I like to go work out or get in the pool at the Wellness Center (used to be called the Courthouse) in Flowood.  I like to find interesting things about people or events and read up on them and watch interesting little bits of information on YouTube about current events and getting deep analyses about them.  I like to watch tv and college football when it is in season.  I also like to go to gun shows and see if there are any new interesting rifles for sale or to buy some ammunition that I can’t get readily available.  When I get time, I some times like to go to the family farm on the coast in a small community called Kiln (it is pronounced kill) where my mother’s family has been for 150-200 years and is the same hometown as Brett Farve to visit but also to go shooting Russian or German rifles.

8. Where is the most fascinating place you have ever been in?

The most fascinating places I have ever been were the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, and the Great Wall of China.

9. What is your favorite current TV show, movie, and song?

I don’t have any favorite shows that are current but do have a favorite that is a little older, at least by your standards as old–Married With Children.  The same can be applied to my favorite movies and songs.  I have many favorite movies but to choose one on the spot I would say Spaceballs.  The same can be said about my favorite song.  To choose one, I would go with “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” by Dead or Alive.  (Nothing is better for an enjoyable evening than to be back in the mid-1980s in a brightly lit club with flashy and stylish clothing and spiked hair and seeing people enjoying a nice time, not to mention family weddings in the present with all of the cousins and their spouses and even their children enjoying 80s rock music.)

10. What are the three most interesting facts about you?

(1) I have traveled to China to teach conversational English four times.

(2) I have been named Star Teacher twice in my career.

(3) I am of Spanish, Swedish, Irish, and French descent.