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From our readers: I love my job

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 Christina McRay

Principal

Lebanon Middle School

I’d consider myself one of the luckiest principals out there. As principal at Lebanon Middle School, I’m blessed to go to work every day and stand alongside some of the best teachers in the state. Caring, passionate, hard-working and humble, my staff are committed to our students… and each other. My teachers and staff work hard every day to help students succeed, not only in their classroom, but to help them be better people overall. I want to say a huge thank you to the LMS Patriot staff… your work is appreciated and I consider it an honor to be your principal. Go Patriots!    

Tammy Hutchins Mattingly

Licensed professional counselor

I can honestly say I love my job as a licensed professional counselor. I have always been interested in people and why they do things. I firmly believe we are all doing the best we can, but life can be difficult and full of challenges. It is my job to aid people in finding their way when they are facing challenges. Notice I didn't say I find their way for them or change them. People have to find their own way. As a counselor I provide tools and support to help them do that. It is the most exciting thing to watch someone have a moment when they realize something profound about themselves or a situation. People have the answers to their own problems; they just don't always realize it right away. I am so fortunate to be in a position that I get to help people do this.

Greg Conley

Project Lead The Way teacher 

Head boys soccer coach 

Marion County High School

I love to teach! I love working with my students. Getting to experience a student that really isn’t into school get “hooked” on engineering is an awesome moment. I call it the “light bulb effect” when they get it. 

I have been teaching for over 22 years now and it never gets old. I also cherish the relationships that I have built with my students over the years and I still to this day stay in contact with many of them. Having worked in multiple school districts (Fayette, Boyle and Marion), I feel this has helped keep me energized and current with my students. I think the PLTW program has also helped me stay in tune with all the new technology. 

The day I decided to become a teacher, I made a promise to myself. I was not going to be like all the teachers that didn’t really connect with their students because they were simply “stand and deliver” type teachers. As a student, I learned best by building a good relationship with teachers who seemed to really care about me. I also learned, retained, and understood the information better when I could get my hands on something concrete, so I decided that if I was going to do this, that I was going to be an “all in” teacher with an interactive classroom. And the most important aspect is actually spending time to get to know each of my students on a more personal level so that I could understand them and really find ways to connect. 

In my experience, if you really care for each student, and you express that, they will climb mountains for you in the classroom. I take the same approach when I am coaching my soccer players. Feeling genuine concern for their well-being goes a long way to earning their trust. Once you have their trust, the rest is easy and can be fun. I firmly believe you can learn and enjoy what you are learning at the same time. I think if you look back on how many students I have had to write referrals on shows that, meaning I don’t really write any. If I have a problem with a student, we work it out together and move on. This also means that I have students that will come to me with a problem and I will listen and try my best to help them come up with a solution for them.  

High school students live in a sea of drama and that’s the nature of teenagers.  If you try to help them navigate through, you find out that most of them really do want to learn and that means I get to see the “light bulb” switch on right in front of me - I’m addicted to that moment like a drug and can’t get enough of it. That is what drives me to come to work every day. 

I’m not a big fan of the all the politics we have been experiencing, but that has no effect on how much I care for my kids and what I do in my classroom every day. How can I make them into better people?

Delena Trent

The Caring Place

I am the executive director of The Caring Place, a center for abused women and children. I oversee eight staff members that always work as a team. We have the same goals and expectations. 

I’m proud to say I don’t have a job. I have a chance and an opportunity. I get the chance to help bring hope to women who feel there is none and I have the opportunity to spend time with a wonderful group of women that give me strength to pursue my passion of helping others to “be safe.”

Thanks to a great team: Mag, Juanita, Betty, Marcia, Susan, Tierney, Martha and Courtney. Thanks for always being there for our clients. Thanks for loving and never judging. Thanks for being team players. You’re the reason we continue to succeed.

Juanita Morris

The Caring Place

I work at The Caring Place, a center for abused women and children. My job is extremely rewarding for many reasons. First and foremost, I have an opportunity to provide a safe home for women and children who have been abused. When they arrive at our shelter they have little or no self-esteem.

As a case manager, I help our women regain the confidence to start over and take back their lives. I work with an amazing group of women that together with our director make my job a gratifying experience. Delena Trent is not just my director, but also a friend. She is always ready to support us with the decisions we make every day.