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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An anonymous student within the walls of New Hanover High School wanted his or her teacher to be recognized. So, we showed up to surprise math teacher Jessica Marks.

She was surprised to see us and emotionally impacted by it all. “It makes me feel really good actually,” she said through tears. “It makes me want to cry because these kids are half my life. I love everything…I wouldn’t come if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t show up to work everyday.”

Ms. Marks hopes each day she shows up, another chair doesn’t go empty. She believes in her students and knows they want a good education.

The nomination sent to WWAY pointed out incidents in which students made headlines for the wrong reasons; it referenced gangs and violence. But it also pointed to Ms. Marks and said she doesn’t let any teen fall through the cracks.

“My students are wonderful. They’re smart, they’re driven,” she explained. “They wouldn’t come to school if they didn’t want a good education thats our job as teachers to give them what they need.”

Student Keshaun McCallum described Ms. Marks, “She’s one of those teachers who likes to keep everybody lifted up,” he said. “She keeps everybody active so we can have a better learning environment.”

Ms. Marks is the 5th teacher the students have cycled through this year alone, but she said she’s here to stay. Because she loves her students.

“All of my kids make me so happy,” she said. “This is what teachings about: showing more of my relationship side with them rather than teaching them Math, which some of them might not like that we have to teach them.”

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6 Comments on "Teacher of the Week: Jessica Marks"

2015 years 9 months ago

Actually, it’s not a gang symbol. It’s the NHHS diamond. School spirit.

NHHS parent
2015 years 9 months ago

That wasn’t a gang symbol. That is a symbol that represents New Hanover High School. It is shaped like a diamond similar to the schools logo.

2015 years 9 months ago

The student that gave the gang symbol in the video needs to be dealt with. Most people probably did not catch it, but he put his head down and gave a gang symbol with his hands. They might be smart, but not this one. He did it on tv and the school can easily pick him out.

2015 years 9 months ago

First off, that is TOTALLY the NHHS diamond for school spirit. Not sure what “school” you teach at, but your SRO is dead wrong. This lady won teacher of the week and all you can focus on is someone’s school spirit and how they need to be “dealt with” because you’re an ignorant jealous teacher that can’t connect with her students the way this woman does. By the way, how would they deal with him exactly? Slap on the wrist, when they could be out arresting students that are REAL felons with records and proven acts of violence. Don’t think for a second you have any of these students (or your own) figured out. You have no idea what they go through every day. Their lives are hard enough and it’s only made worse by idiots such as yourself. By the way, I’m glad you nicknamed yourself “trash” on the message boards. Totally accurate. I’m sure you’re a decent person, but then again you’re not the teacher that won the money and the TV spot are you? I didn’t think so. You’re the reason students drop out. Crawl back in your hole of obscurity and leave people alone.

2015 years 9 months ago

At our school that I teach at, the SRO says it is a gang symbol You can say what you want, but why did he hide his face if it was just a school sign? It was a gang symbol and he needs to be dealt with!

2015 years 9 months ago

As teachers we are taught what gang symbols are. That was clearly a gang symbol. Even the SRO stated it was a gang symbol.


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