Mitchell shares his 40 years of how-to

Published 6:59 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Part of an ongoing series featuring the teachers nominated for Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Year honors.

Mark Mitchell jumped at the opportunity when given the chance to give back to students as a carpentry instructor at the Hinds Community College Vicksburg campus Career & Technical Education Center.

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“I have been fortunate to accumulate a wealth of knowledge over the past 40 years, and I was excited to pass on that knowledge to the students,” Mitchell, who has been teaching at HCC for the past four years, said. “The classroom was a new environment for me, but I was quick to adapt and learn from veteran faculty best practices to utilize. I was fortunate to have experience working with all age groups in my trade and I leaned on that experience to make the transition easier.”

Mitchell said he enjoys seeing that spark in a student’s eyes when they finally get the concept during a lesson, but also in solving life problems.

“Often our students have situations in their lives that they don’t know how to handle,” Mitchell said. “I work with them on not only curricular issues, but helping them solve life problems as well. I try to also instill in them the soft skills that will make them successful; having the right attitude, good manners, how to shake hands and make eye contact. Lastly, I really enjoy the lab aspect of my position. Taking the students into the lab where we can work together on creating projects and practically imparting my knowledge to them.”

Mitchell said he was overwhelmed after being recognized and nominated as the Teacher of the Year from HCC.

“It means a lot to me when my fellow instructors nominated me and that the vote was nearly unanimous,” Mitchell said. “It is humbling to be recognized for doing what I sincerely enjoy doing.  It is an honor to represent Hinds Community College, as well as the Vicksburg Warren School District and our excellent faculty.”

The Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce will choose one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon Feb. 20. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.

Mitchell said it would be a tremendous responsibility if selected as the top educator.

“I would do my absolute best to represent the values and ideals that make Career and Technical Education a viable pathway for so many of our students,” Mitchell said. “Self-improvement is an ongoing task and I would continue to work on my skillset and refine my approach to better educate our students. The better I am, the better the students will be. I am truly humbled to be considered for this important award.

“I teach because I want the next generation to learn what took me 42 years to learn,” Mitchell said.