Why I Teach: ‘If I can make a difference in one child’s life...’

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Forest Hills Middle School Teacher of the Year Dana Skinner is featured in this week’s installment of Why I Teach. To watch her tell her story in a WCS-TV YouTube video, visit http://bit.ly/2itOD70.

Current position: Eighth-grade language arts teacher at Forest Hills Middle School

Total years teaching: 16 years

First teaching position: I’ve always taught at Forest Hills MS and actually did my student teaching here while I was in college. After graduation, I was offered a position and taught a seventh- and eighth-grade combination class.

College attended: Graduated in 2001 from Barton College.

Favorite quote: “I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” — Psalm 139:14

Other interesting facts: I am from Wilson and have always lived here. I attended Lucama Elementary School. When I got to middle school, there was a redistricting phase and I attended Springfield, Speight and Darden Vick. I graduated in 1996 from Beddingfield HS.

Why I teach: I feel like teaching is a calling. I was very fortunate in my life that I had wonderful teachers along the way. I had a horrible time in middle school. I hated middle school. I just feel like if I can make a difference in one child’s life, then that is my reason for being here. That is why I teach.

(When she finished answering the question, her students said “Awwww!” and clapped. It touched their hearts that she had challenges in middle school.)


Ethan Kaosombat: Ms. Skinner is a great teacher because she’s really kind, involving and we really love having conversations with her in class.

Ashton Lovette
: I think Ms. Skinner is a great teacher because she’s like a Mom figure to me, and she really cares for her students. She has a passion for teaching.