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Horizon likes Hastings as top staffer

MADISON – Marshela ‘Shela’ Hastings believes a teacher “lives for those moments when a child finally gets something they’ve been struggling to comprehend.” Horizon Elementary School selected Hastings as Staff Member of the Year.

Before 2005, Hastings was a stay-at-home mom in Huntsville. Since 2005, she has worked as a substitute teacher in the Madison district and as permanent substitute for three years. She wanted this job to familiarize herself with MCS.

“I enjoy my job because of the people. My job is to help the teachers in any way to find the best possible substitute. It means looking after school hours if a teacher has an emergency or gets sick.”

She also supervises classrooms when teachers attend meetings and works in the front office, where she meets parents and visitors. “Because of Horizon’s wonderful teachers, students and staff, I truly enjoy my job.”

“Anyone who works in a school doesn’t do it for the money. They do it because they want to make a difference in a child’s life,” Hastings said. “You hope you’ve helped make a student’s day a little brighter.”

Hastings’ most memorable teacher was Mr. Smith at New Hope. “He was the teacher version of Simon … hard but fair. He taught me always to do my best … because our best sets us apart.”

Her husband works at NASA as a mechanical engineer. They have been married 26 years.

“I’ve been blessed with five children. My oldest was Dawniel. She was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 18 in 2003. Her death reminds me of how every child is so very precious … that every day is a gift you enjoy because there’s no promise of a tomorrow.”

The other Hastings children are Christina and their granddaughter Makindsey of Gurley; Alex, children’s minister in Mississippi; John, a Calhoun Community College sophomore; and Megan, Bob Jones High School sophomore.

Shela stays busy with church and Megan’s activities. She enjoys time for a good book, sketchpad or movie. She enjoys going to a movie or playing board games with friends.

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