We Are Douglas: Get to Know Mrs. Sherrill

young man and woman standing together with a football field in the background
Amelia Sherrill (who you might know as Ms. Sheaffer, before she got married in October) is a kindergarten teacher at Douglas.

How long have you been at Douglas Elementary?

This is my sixth year, seventh if you count my student teaching! This is my fourth year in Kindergarten, and I’ve taught three years in 1st Grade.

What’s a typical day like?

I like to start our morning off by greeting the students at the door. We start our day with greeting each other on the carpet and sharing, and from there it is a busy, fun, packed day. I like to end our day with discussing what our favorite part of the day was.

What do you like best about your job?

I love seeing how much growth my kindergarteners have made in one year! It’s amazing how much they learn and change. I also work with some pretty amazing people and they make my job fun as much as the students do.

What’s most challenging?

Every day has its own different challenges, but having students, coworkers and a community that care helps overcome those challenges.

What is one fun fact about you that people might not know?

I’ve lived in four states! Florida, South Carolina, Virginia and North Carolina (in that order).

If you’re a member of the Douglas Elementary School staff and would like to share your story as part of our “We Are Douglas” series, please email us!

Get to Know Our Teacher of the Year, Jackie Lester

jackie-lesterJackie Lester, ESL teacher at Douglas, was recently named the school’s Teacher of the Year. Read on to get to know a little bit more about Jackie, and be sure to congratulate her if you see her on your next visit to campus!

How long have you been at Douglas? Have you taught ESL the whole time?

This is my fifth year at Douglas. I started my career teaching “English as a Foreign Language” in Chile, my native country.  Then I taught Spanish in Wilson County for about three years. After finishing my master’s degree in ESL and Educational Supervision, I moved to Raleigh.  At the same time, I found an ESL position in a school in Wake County.  I have been in Wake County for about nine years.

What made you decide to become a teacher?

Since I was a little girl, I always taught my friends what I have learned at school. Also, I always liked languages. So, one of my teachers in high school suggested I could explore my options in education.  I took this path and I have never looked back.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love working with students. I learn as much from them as they learn from me. I enjoy seeing their faces light up when they understand something or when they can express themselves in English. It is really amazing!

What is the most challenging thing about being a teacher?

I have never thought about what I do as a “job.”  I truly enjoy coming to school every day, talking to my colleagues, students and parents. Of course, we face challenges every day, not only at school but also personally. However, if I think about what I do for just a minute, I realize I have the best job in the world. I get to teach and guide children in the most important stage of their lives and that makes me happy!

How does it feel to win this well-deserved recognition?

I feel so proud to be part of the Douglas staff.  I am very lucky to work with a wonderful administration, teachers and instructional assistants.  To me, this is the “cherry on the cake” and I am truly honored to have been chosen Teacher of the Year!

Get to Know Mariela Matias

If you’ve ever walked into the front office at Douglas, you’ve met Mariela Matias. She’s the smiling face that greets visitors, helps students and juggles a million other duties each day. This is her first year in this position at Douglas, and if you haven’t already, it’s not too late to welcome her! Read on to learn more about Mariela:

What is a typical day like for you at Douglas?

My typical day at Douglas must start off like any other day, with a cup of coffee! There is never a dull moment at the office. I deal with any correspondence that might come by, answer phone calls, organize, file, and welcome our parents and students, as well as translate for our Spanish-speaking families, and take care of students with any medical needs, just to name few of my duties. In the free time, well there isn’t much of a free time around here …

What has your first year been like, so far?

My first few months at Douglas have been great. Teachers, staff and parents have been supportive and welcoming! It has been an easy transition and my coworkers have made me feel comfortable.

Where did you work before you came to Douglas?

I used to work at Douglas back in 2013 as a part-time clerical assistant for about a year. In 2014, I moved to Harris Creek Elementary School. Harris Creek is a multi-track, year-round school with nearly 1,200 students. At Harris Creek, I worked for a year as a media assistant and clerical assistant, then I worked for two years as a receptionist. As much as I loved working at Harris Creek and I live five minutes away from school, I was ready to move back to a traditional school and spend more time with my family and have more time to do my volunteer work. When the opportunity came along to move back to a traditional school and Douglas was an option, there was no doubt I wanted to move back to Douglas where I had started … It feels like I’m back at home!

What is one “fun fact” about you that people might not know?

One ‘fun fact’ about me would be that I love to travel and take new adventures. Oh! and did I mention I love coffee? I am a coffee addict!