There are many positive aspects of having a well-rounded education. Some students enjoy a traditional subject taught by their classroom teacher, while others – well they go to school and count down the hours until their favorite special activity begins!
This week’s focus is on four very important individuals that not only teach their favorite subject but inject some skills from the traditional classroom along the way. Coach Donald Eggleston, Mrs. Alyssa Schulke, Mrs. Karen Jones and Mrs. Sierra Frazier are the reason some children agree to the daily struggle of going to school – and these educators are teaching what they love.
Mrs. Sierra Frazier (known fondly as Mrs. Art Frazier since McCleary has another Mrs. Frazier) is the art teacher for pre-kindergarten through seventh grade, Coach Eggleston is the P.E. teacher for grades kindergarten through sixth, Mrs. Schulke (or Mrs. Music for the younger kiddos) is the music teacher for the entire school division K-12 and Mrs. Jones is the librarian for McCleary Elementary School.
Mrs. Jones has taught for a total of 22 years, all in Craig County. She has taught kindergarten, fourth grade, fifth grade, as well as being the Gifted and Talented Instructor. She got into education because she loves kids. As she stated, “being a little shy, I always found them easier to relate to than adults! I knew I wanted a job that made a real difference in the world.” She and her husband both graduated from CCHS, and their daughter Sara is currently a seventh grader at CCMS. They love to spend time together practicing softball and just being outdoors. When asked about her favorite thing about teaching in Craig Mrs. Jones said, “I love that we get to watch our students grow up. It’s very special to be able to follow a student from the time he/she enters school to that student’s graduation.” When she is not busy with her family or running the school media center, Mrs. Jones likes to read, crochet, collect and care for plants.
Before coming to Craig County, Mrs. Frazier taught preschool at a New Vista Montessori School in Roanoke, Virginia. She got into teaching because she wanted to share her love of art with children. “Art has always been like a therapy for me, and I want children to feel that as well. It can be a great positive outlet”, she said.
Mrs. Frazier grew up in Craig County and graduated from CCHS. She furthered her studies at Roanoke College. She is married to Ryan and they have a one-year-old son, Judd. Mrs. Frazier added, “My absolute favorite thing about teaching in Craig is that it’s small, and I can build a relationship with every child.”
Mrs. Schulke previously taught grade levels 3-12 at North Spring Behavioral Healthcare in Leesburg, Virginia. She chose to go into music education because those were the classes she enjoyed the most throughout school, and she wanted to pass on her love of music to a younger generation. Mrs. Schulke married her college sweetheart that she met at Shenandoah University. They have been married for five years and live in New Castle. They, and their four fur babies, are expecting a baby in April. When asked what she loves about teaching in Craig County, Mrs. Music replied, “Craig County reminds me a lot of my hometown in Pennsylvania. I like the small, rural atmosphere. I also enjoy the small class sizes, which allows for more one on one attention.” Mrs. Music is a huge lover of all things Disney.
Coach Eggleston – or “Coach E” as the students call him – is the PE teacher for grades kindergarten through sixth. He has been coaching for 21 years, with the last nine being in Craig. He previously taught at Read Mountain Middle School and Colonial Elementary schools. Coach E is a huge Virginia Tech, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Capitals fan. One of his favorite things about teaching in Craig is the children. He states, “The children are great to work with and they love learning PE.” He and his daughter reside in Botetourt County. She will be attending Ohio University in the fall. During the summers, Coach E works at a summer camp in upstate New York. He once was a contestant on The Price is Right and got to meet Bob Barker.
-Submitted by Andrea Jennings