The Corinth Rotary Club is continuing to recognize some of the county’s top educators.
The club recently honored former Biggersville High School history, government and geography teacher James Vansandt and Alcorn Central High School government and economics teacher Angie Grisham as their Star Teachers from the Alcorn School District.
The annual awards, normally presented each year at a special meeting of the club, were instead presented to each teacher individually due to restrictions on meetings related to the pandemic.
Grisham has spent her entire career as an educator on the Alcorn Central High School campus. Marking 21 years of teaching this year, she began as an English 1 instructor in 2000 and has taught government and economics for the past 18 years. She has also taught numerous other courses including World History, English 3, Personal Finance, Law, Psychology, ACT Prep, Speech, Journalism and Advanced Placement US Government.
She came to ACHS with a bachelor of science degree in English from the University of Northa Alabama and has since earned her Master of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Social Studies from the University of Mississippi; and Master Teacher of Economics Certification from Mississippi State University.
She is currently working toward an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership K-12 at the University of Mississippi which she will complete next May.
Grisham has shown herself to be a leader both inside and outside the classroom. She has co-sponsored prom, homecoming court and history club and also coached bowling for two years. She currently serves as the coach of the academic team, yearbook sponsor, co-sponsor of FBLA and also works with seniors to coordinate and schedule activities for the senior class including graduation.
She has also helped lead her colleagues as a member of the Leadership Team, Apple Teacher Team and as a Canvas Captain. She was honored as Star Teacher for the 2006-7 and 2016-17 school years and received an honorary state FFA Degree in 2016.
“I could not ask for a more fulfilling job than the one which I currently serve. Helping students become successful adults is a heart-happy job,” she said.
Vansandt taught US History, US Government, Economics, Mississippi Studies and Introduction to World Geography last year at Biggersville High School. Today he has moved to Emmonak, Alaska where he is working as an assistant principal.
“Mr. V, as he is known, taught his curriculum everyday but because he has traveled throughout the United States and all over the world, he can bring many perspectives to the curriculum. He has also had the benefit of living through several of the events that are taught in his courses so he is able to provide first-hand accounts to our students. Mr. V not only taught history but he started the BHS Bowling Teams and BHS Archery Team to include students who might not participate in other extracurricular activities. BHS has had a Bowling Team for three years and in the second year, the Boys’ Team made it to the State Tournament and in the third year, both teams made it to the State Level with the Girls’ Team finishing in Second Place. During the first year he coached the Archery Team, they placed 2nd in the North-half and were able to compete in the State Tournament. Mr. V teaches and coaches with a big heart and that leads our students to put forth their best effort. Previously Mr. Vansandt worked in radio and he made our daily announcements as well as announcing ball games and numerous school events during his time at BHS. He entertained our students and faculty every chance he could and was always ready with a joke. He even gave free music lessons to students in his free time. He always tried to introduce a wide variety of music from different time periods in his classroom. He was a minister as well and sets high expectations for his students to make good choices in life. Mr. V mentored other teachers and was a role model to all students at BHS. He was willing to step up whenever there was a need. In his spare time, you will find him fishing with his family, friends, and even our former students. Our school and community have greatly benefitted from having Mr. Vansandt over the past few years and we look forward to when he returns from Alaska,” said his nomination for the Rotary Club award.
Vandsandt holds a Masters in Education from Freed-Hardeman University, a bachelor’s degree in Ministry and Evangelism and a Masters in Biblical Studies from Abilene Christian University and he completed the Masters of Economics program last year. He was honored as STAR teacher in 2009 and 2019.