OHS teacher Jeana Noble wins district teacher of the year

Winnie Wilson, editor-in-chief

Jeana Noble, Oxford High School biology teacher, has been selected as the Teacher of the Year by Oxford School District. Noble will go on to represent the Oxford School District in the statewide competition for Mississippi Teacher of the Year, which is a program that recognizes the outstanding performance of teachers at the district, state, and national levels. Noble earned her Education Specialist degree from Arkansas State University, a Master of Educational Leadership from Mississippi College, and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Mississippi State University. Noble was selected by the Faculty Advisory Council made up of 14 district teachers. 

Noble has been teaching at OHS since 2013, but has been a teacher for 40 years. Noble began her teaching career in the small town of Willmott, Arkansas where she taught 6 different sciences and then returned to her alma mater where she taught at private school for 29 years before becoming a member of the Oxford School District. 

“When I came here my eyes were wide open. I had never seen yellow school buses rolling in. I started at the middle school and we moved that semester and I came here to high school. Four biology teachers all came in when I did and they were much younger but we all brought something to the table so we had a good team that we worked with” Noble said. “I learned technology from them because they weren’t afraid of anything and they were willing to support me. I am going from a small, private school where people all went to college and everybody went to state or Ole miss. I came here and the diversity was so unique and so cool. When I realized what my shortcomings were I would go find somebody that was better than I was.”

Throughout the process, Noble had the opprotunity to interact with numerous teachers. Noble has a commitment to continuing to learn and pouring into the education field as she sees supporting younger teachers as a curcial part of education.

“I still feel like I am learning and I look around and see so many incredible teachers including incredible teachers who have left the profession. When I met with the faculty advisory council which is two representatives from each school I told them I love sitting here. I didn’t know anyone in that room, but I told them what I wanted to do was talk to them and as teachers be able to give more input into what we think can make things better, close the gap, and make teachers not leave the profession. That’s kind of where I am,” Noble said. “I feel like I am being repurposed in my life to support younger teachers and that’s what I want to be able to do. I told them I want to fly under the radar. I am humbled by this and I appreciate my colleagues acknowledging it but I want to fly under the radar.”

The Mississippi Teacher of the Year Program’s mission is to elevate student success by honoring, celebrating, and promoting excellence to strengthen the teaching profession. Noble has gone through multiple steps of this process, and the first steps took place within our District. 

“The high school voted on it and I won the high school, and then we had an interview with the faculty advisory council which is two representatives from each school and then every teacher for each school teacher of the year also had to go for an interview,” Noble said.

Noble’s higher-ups have also communicated a positive view of her as a teacher. OHS principal Dr. Dana Bullard remarks on Noble’s contributions to the OHS and OSD environment as a whole, as Noble is aware of the diverse needs of her students.

“Ms. Noble believes in holding herself and students accountable. She provides a calm environment in her classroom and she expects great things from all of her students. She knows that students who go to college or directly into the workforce need to develop initiative and responsibility. While that sometimes means that Ms. Noble’s class is difficult, Ms. Noble supports students so that they can be successful,” Bullard said. 

Bullard also acknowledges that Noble represents not just OHS but also the district as a whole with this honor, and as she moves forward in the process her teaching experience and methodology will be reflected. 

“Ms. Noble is a wonderful teacher who cares deeply about students and their achievements in high school. She knows that a teacher can make a difference in students’ lives, and she makes sure that she teaches students what they need to know at the next level. She works well with her fellow teachers and is interested in developing a positive culture at OHS,” Bullard said. 

Noble is committed to continuing her career as a teacher and is motivated to be better by this award. While she is humbled by this award, she is certain that her work isn’t finished.

“There’s so many people that deserve it but this type of thing motivates me to go “Okay, whatever they think I deserved it i need to go do that. I need to be better. I need to try harder. I need to reach more. I need to support more,” Noble said. “It’s my repurpose in life, people look at me and go, ‘when are you going to retire?’ And I’m like ‘I still have things to do’, and again I want to continue to work. I learn from students and the people I work with.”