New Employee Interviews

Abby Black, Newspaper Staff Member

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Interview with Ms. Gatlin

Ms. Gatlin coaches Dance for the “Pirates Crew” Dance Team.

 

1. What made you want to coach at Pearl?

  • I decided I wanted to Coach at Pearl because I also danced at Pearl and knew the history of the dance program was held to a high standard.  It was already an established group that has always had a hard work ethic and sense of pride.

2. What made you want to coach dance?

  • I’ve danced for as long as I can remember and want to share my passion with other individuals as well as teach them life skills that were instilled in me through dance.

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

  • I attended Mississippi State University where I majored in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Social Studies.

4. How long have you been coaching?

  • This is my 3rd year coaching.

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

  • My greatest influence would be Tiffany Durr. She was my high school coach and though one of the toughest coaches I’ve ever had, I admired her for pushing us to be better beyond the performance floor. She of course wanted us to succeed at dance, but she wanted us to succeed beyond that as well.

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

  • I am originally from Pearl and graduated from Pearl.

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

  • I like to enjoy spending time with family and friends. I enjoy being outdoors and watching sports. If any Mississippi State sports team is playing, more than likely I’m watching it. And I’m in a very competitive family, so we’ll spend our weekends playing games.

8. Where is the most fascinating place you have been to and why?

  • The most fascinating place I’ve been would have to be New York and I would say because it’s so different from Mississippi. I remember going and being in  culture shock because it was fast paced. Everybody was in a rush to get somewhere. Cars were ramming into the backs of each other and nobody thought anything of it. The streets were filled with people. There were so many different cultures and languages and everywhere was tall buildings and it was so beautiful to me. We took a dance class in New York performing arts studio and the intensity of the instructors was scary, but also so cool. It made me realize how serious dance is taken in other parts of the country.

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

  • Favorite TV show is Grey’s anatomy. My favorite movie is Avatar. And my favorite song is At Last by Etta James.

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

  • I’m a grandma at heart. Like to be in bed by 9 on the weekends kinda of g-ma.
  • I like to build furniture and have built several pieces in my house. I get power tools for gifts.
  • I cry tears of joy all the time. I will sit on my phone and watch videos of soldiers coming home, auditions, k9’s taking down the bad guy… and I just cry..

 

Interview with Ms. Case

Ms. Case teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics, and Science Literacy.  Her room number is B105.

 

1. What made you want to teach at Pearl?

  • I wanted to teach at Pearl because I am always hearing great things about the school and the community. The people I know who work for Pearl are constantly saying how they love their jobs and enjoy teaching.

2. What made you want to teach Science?

  • I wanted to teach science because I love science fiction, the idea of the future, and the amazing display of different life on earth.  I want to impart some of that love on to future generations and to show them how they can change and improve the world.

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

  • I went to Hind CC in Raymond to do my basic courses to find out what I wanted to do in life. Then I went to Ole Miss and got a bachelors degree in Liberal Arts, which means I took 3 minors as a major. I studied International Studies(emphasis in Asia), Business Administration, and Art History.  I went to Mississippi State University and got a masters degree in secondary teaching(emphasis in Science).

4. How long have you been teaching?

  • This is the start of my 8th year of teaching.

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

  • Mrs. Farley my 9th and 11th grade science teacher inspired me to become a science teacher. She expanded my love of science and helping others.

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

  • I am originally from Brandon, MS and I attended all Brandon Schools.

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

  • Outside of work and on the weekends I like to read, watch movies and go to the park with my daughter Kahlan.

8. Where is the most fascinating place you have been to and why?

  • The most fascinating place that I have been to is Tokyo Disneyland.  I absolutely loved it and I am a very big fan of Disney all around.  The food, people and experiences there have a special place in my heart.

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

  • Current Favorites: TV-Tales of the Miraculous Ladybug and Cat Noir; Movie- Aladdin; Song- Hey Look Ma I Made It

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

  • The 3 most interesting facts about me: 1- I speak, write and read Japanese; 2- I used to work for Walt Disney World; 3- I have been swimming with sharks.

 

Interview with Ms. Allen

Ms. Allen is a band director.  Her room number is E103.

 

1. What made you want to teach at Pearl?

  • I am a Class of 2000 graduate of Pearl High School and it has always been a goal of mine to make it back home and give back to this school and band program.

2. What made you want to be a band director?

  • My love of music and band while I was in the program here was why I initially wanted to be a band director. I’ve stayed in the profession because I care about kids and want to be a positive influence in their lives.

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

  • I got my Bachelors of Music Education from Ole Miss and my Masters of Music education from Southern Miss.

4. How long have you been teaching?

  • This is my 15th year of teaching.

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

  • I had so many great teachers k-12, but my greatest inspirations were my band directors; Ted Burns, Jeff Cannon, Marc Johnson and Joy Hawkins.

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

  • I was born and raised in Pearl and attended Pearl Schools k-12.

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

  • I enjoy spending time with friends and family. A couple of friends and I are avid concert and musical theater patrons.

8. Where is the most fascinating place you have been to and why?

  • Italy and Japan are probably the most fascinating places I have been. Being able to visit different cultures is always interesting and educational. The incredible history, architecture and art in Italy is certainly a highlight of my travels.

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

  • Tv show: Chopped
  • Movie: The “Pitch Perfect” Series
  • Song: P!nk’s new Album (who can actually pick just one song?!?!)

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

  • I’ve seen over 60 professional live musical theater productions
  • I love to cook
  • Even after all of my travel, Disney is still one of my favorite places  

 

Interview with Ms. Dukes

Ms. Dukes teaches English I, Oral Communication, and Learning Strategies.  Her room number is C209.

 

1. What made you want to teach at Pearl?

  • While working on my Specialist degree, I had the opportunity to take a class taught by Dr. Morgigno.  His depiction of Pearl, along with all the positive I have heard about this district while working in education, led me to the realization that Pearl is where I want to teach.

2. What made you want to teach English?

  • I have enjoyed taking different English classes since Junior High School.  When deciding the areas in which I wanted to be endorsed, I had already taken so many English classes that I had enough hours to be endorsed in that subject.  I love English, and I love imparting a joy for reading and comprehending into students.

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

  • I obtained my Bachelors in Elementary Education and my Masters in Early Childhood Education from The University of Mississippi.  Last year, I obtained my Specialist in Educational Leadership from William Carey University.

4. How long have you been teaching?

  • This is my sixth year in education as a teacher.

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

  • My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Fondren, was the person who inspired me to become an educator.  As a fifth grader who had just been diagnosed with ADD, I struggled to make D’s.  Mrs. Fondren taught me how to study, how to keep my schoolwork organized, and how to be a better student.  I truly want to pass on her pearls of wisdom to my students.

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

  • I am from Terry, MS.  I went to Hillcrest Christian School for K – 9th grade, and I went to Terry High School for 10th – 12th grade.

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

  • My weekends are filled with rest, relaxation, and spending time with my fiance’, Josh, and my dog, Penny Lane.

8. Where is the most fascinating place you have been to and why?

  • A few years ago, I went on a mission trip to Haiti.  While there I gleaned a little Hatian-Creole (not much) and shared the love of the Lord with the people who lived in the Anse-a-pitre village.  It was so interesting to meet people who have so little in life but are so giving and so loving.  They truly have an amazing culture.

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

  • My favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy.  Interestingly, when I get married, my last name will become Sheppard, and I hope to one day receive my Doctorate in Education.  Then, I will be Dr. Sheppard.  Choosing a movie is tough.  I love Steel Magnolias, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Shawshank Redemption.  My taste in movies is pretty eclectic.  My favorite song is You Make it Easy, because that is mine and Josh’s song.

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

  • Three Random Facts About Me:  I was a Dental Assistant before I became a teacher, and I actually still have a baby tooth.  As a high schooler, I was an airbrush artist, so I was in charge of spray-tanning body builders and prom-goers.  The place I’ve most enjoyed working, other than PHS, was at Whitfield.  I’ve been blessed with working at many different types of places since I started driving, and I have grown so much as person from each experience.