Nathan Wilson is a Pike County High School graduate who is in his eighth year as a teacher and his fourth year as a science teacher for Pike County Middle School. He was recently surprised by administrators from the board and each school as he was honored as Districtwide Teacher of the Year.
Each year one Teacher of the Year is selected from each school, including this year’s honorees Courtney Fraysure at Pike County Primary School, Hannah Bottchen at Pike County Elementary School, Nathan Wilson at PCMS, Leslie Rasbury at the Ninth Grade Academy and Lori Bush at PCHS.
“Our district has some of the best teachers around and the work they put in is incredible. The other teachers that were up for this honor are amazing and anyone of them could have received the honor as well, so it was definitely a surprise when Dr. Duncan, central office personnel and administrators busted up in my room,” said Nathan. “I decided to become a teacher to make a positive impact on every student I encountered. When a student enters my classroom I have no idea where they are coming from or the experiences that they have had so I make it a priority to create an authentic relationship with each and every student so that I can understand where they come from and help them in whatever way I can. My mother would tell me growing up that you never know what someone is going through so always treat people with kindness. This is a value that I have taken with me through my life and is something that I use in my classroom and teach my students. There has also been many teachers who inspired me to be a teacher such as Mrs. Kay Dean, Mrs. Glenda Goldman and Mr. Clayton Moon. These teachers showed me how important relationships are and how impactful you can be as an educator.”
Nathan creates an environment for success and strong relationships with his students and also with other teachers, staff and administrators.
“Nathan makes sixth grade science fun, engaging and real for students. He is not a ‘stand and deliver’ type of teacher. He creates an environment in which students must work together collaboratively using their critical thinking and communication skills to solve real world problems,” said PCMS principal Mike Maddox. “His class is not about knowing ‘things’ but rather how to think deeply about concepts and ideas involving scientific inquiry.”
“Nathan isn’t preparing kids to win on Jeopardy but how to be successful in life using transferable skills that will be valuable assets in the future workplace,” said principal Maddox. “His students love and trust him to be there for them, and he is. He sees his students, recognizing them by name, strength and interest. Nathan is a leader on his team, as well as the entire sixth grade teaching staff. He is a humble man with a servant’s heart, respected by all that know him.”
Nathan said the most rewarding part of being a teacher is building relationships with students to create a foundation for success and creating lessons that apply to the students on a personal level.
“I believe that relationships set the foundation for student success. When students know care for them and know that you are in their corner, then they will work for you and you can have those hard and honest conversations with them because they know you have their best interests at heart,” he said. “Another rewarding part of being a teacher is being able to make the content relevant to the students and their lives. I love taking a real-world problem and creating a task around it that incorporates different skills that students will remember long after leaving my class. Seeing their eyes light when they make the connection between the content and them is pretty special to see.”
Nathan said the Districtwide Teacher of the Year recognition is extra special since it’s in the school district he grew up in.
“This is a special honor to receive because I know our district has some of the best teachers around. Our district is blessed to have teachers, administrators, and district personnel that always puts students first,” he said. “I am blessed to have a family and support system that loves this school system like I do. My wife, Shelby and I have two amazing children that keep us on our toes. Leo, 4, is in the Pre-K program here in Pike and Callie, 2, attends Life Springs. I love to spend time with them riding bikes, hiking and going to beach and fish.”