Ad Spot

Students return as teachers at their alma mater

A playwright once said you can never go home again. Not so for several Bob Jones High School graduates who have returned to their alma mater to teach.

These teachers include Amy Ward Thaxton, 1999, English; Chris Townsend, 1996, school resource officer; Lauren Cole, 2007, and Hope Davis, 2002, foreign language; Elizabeth Lakso Vaughn, 2003, art; Denise Adkison, 2005, science; Megan Clark Kerstiens, 2004, math; and Lisa Johnston Parkes, 1981, clerical aide.

Class of 2006 alumni turned teachers are Desmond Jackson, science; Jessye Gessner Gaines, engineering; and Jennifer Voorhies, English.

Jackson teaches physical and environmental science and genetics and coaches basketball. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Alabama A&M University, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in biology.

At first, Jackson was a substitute teacher and coach. Last fall, Principal Robby Parker offered him a full-time position.

Bob Jones resembles a “min-college with so many more classes.” Fellow teachers respect Jackson but “I’m a rookie so … I’m their student all over again.” Teachers sometimes confuse Jackson with his brother, a Bob Jones senior. His son Deslen Miles Jackson is one year old.

Gaines appreciates teaching with high school friends, being hired by her former principal and eating lunch with former teachers. She choreographs for show choir and coaches engineering teams.

A graduate of Auburn University, Gaines is pursuing an alternative baccalaureate-level certificate in mathematics at Athens State University.

“Teaching (is) in my veins,” Gaines said, citing three grandparents, mother, brother and aunt as educators. “I was in the right place at the right time” when the Bob Jones Engineering Academy organized. “I stumbled upon my dream job.”

Last October, Gaines performed in a dance team reunion at half-time. Some of Gaines’ students were in the band and stands — shocked she could high kick. “It was a blast to be on the field performing with current students,” she said.

She and husband Luke Gaines started dating in tenth grade.

Voorhies graduated from the University of Alabama and was confident about returning to Bob Jones. She observed numerous schools and had “no doubt that Bob Jones is the state’s best school. Mr. Parker was also a large factor. I’ve never known a principal to care more about (a) school. I noticed the paramount passion he had for this school” and wanted to work for him.

She coaches varsity basketball cheerleaders.

“Technology has definitely changed,” Voorhies said. “We’ve gone from overhead projectors to SmartBoards and sound systems.”

Voorhies’ former teachers inspired her to teach. As colleagues, they treat her with utmost respect.

Bob Jones High School

Exploravision regional win goes to James Clemens

Bob Jones High School

Alabama State Games To Offer Academic Scholarships During Opening Ceremony

James Clemens High School

James Clemens shows its tech savvy in Science Olympiad

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Jets Press rates first at All American High School Film Festival

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – April 7, 2021

Bob Jones High School

Sam Uchitel at Bob Jones founds business for Madison CEO

Madison

City Chess Blitz Championship to decide victor on April 24

Bob Jones High School

Senior boys can apply for Alabama Boys State

Madison

VBC says scams targeting ticket seekers increasing, explains how to avoid them

Madison

State open records bill clears Senate committee

Madison

‘Essential business’ bill goes to governor

Madison

EDITORIAL: Fighting COVID-19 will require personal responsibility when mask mandate expires

Madison

Huntsville Ballet Company is back with Peter and the Wolf – April 16-18

Madison

Hubert Family Farms finding success with area’s first “pick your own tulip” experience

Madison

Community tips lead police to Harvest man accused of sexual abuse of a child

Madison

State Senate bill could send over $3.2 million to Madison City Schools

Madison

State health officials ‘encouraged’ by improving COVID-19 numbers

Madison

Digital version of The Madison Record – March 31, 2021

Madison

Tornado relief supply drive continues at Liberty, Madison County District 2 office

Madison

Groundbreaking held for new middle school in Madison

Madison

Kory Alfred reaches credentials as Certified Parks and Recreation Executive

Bob Jones High School

Emily Lee at Bob Jones places at Poetry Out Loud state meet

James Clemens High School

James Clemens HOSA blasts gold at state conference

Bob Jones High School

American Legion Auxiliary accepting bids for Alabama Girls State

x