• 66°

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.

Harvest

Sergeant Major Bobby Lee completed several deployments to Middle East

Madison

Wild comeback leads Trash Pandas to first win

Madison

Emergency Water Outage – Highland Drive

Harvest

Moore performs in ‘Tinker Bell,’ works with models and Sparkman photographers

Madison

School board expected to vote on elementary rezoning plan tonight

Madison

Trash Pandas drop inaugural game 6-1 in Chattanooga

James Clemens High School

Chase Lynn’s work on Heritage Church campus secures his Eagle rank

Madison

Madison County Sheriff’s Office charges man for making school threats

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – May 5, 2021

Madison

New traffic signal at County Line Road and Old Highway 20 set for activation

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones students gain perspective, win awards at HOSA conference

Madison

Trash Pandas season opener rained out

James Clemens High School

Gohlich restores refuge nature trail to earn Eagle rank in Boy Scouts

Bob Jones High School

Legere, Lott, Prater and Sullivan rank academically in Calhoun’s Top Ten

Madison

Madison City Schools hit with cybersecurity threat

Madison

Student families take a moment to thank teachers this week

Madison

American Legion hosts 2 baseball activities for youth

Madison

Madison woman dies in Limestone wreck

Digital Version

Check out the 2021-22 edition of “Explore Huntsville-Madison”

Madison

Heritage claims kudos at FIRST LEGO League Challenge

Madison

Huntsville-managed moon rocket arrives at Kennedy Space Center

Bob Jones High School

Madison students earn corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship

Madison

Downtown Rescue Mission breaks ground on new store in Madison

Madison

I-565 interchange at Town Madison and Toyota Field now open

x