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New SES teacher loves being in classroom

0812 caty wilson

Caty Wilson is teaching first grade at SES, and is starting her fifth year in the profession that she loves. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Caty Wilson loves being in the classroom.

“It’s always been a calling I’ve had,” the new Straughn Elementary School teacher said. “I’ve always had a passion and a calling, and a need to be in the classroom.”

Wilson is teaching first grade at SES, and is starting her fifth year in the profession that she loves.

Wilson taught in Mississippi for three years before moving to her hometown of Chatom, where she taught eighth and ninth grade business tech and career prep at Chatom High School.

“I’m really excited to be back in my area; in my field,” she said.

Wilson’s degree is in elementary education.

She got interested in education at an early age before her brother started kindergarten.

“One summer I got in there with him and made up my own teacher work sheets, and then dotted letters and numbers,” Wilson said. “Basically, I taught him how to read and write. I loved it.”

In addition to teaching first grade, Wilson will serve as a dance coach.

The moment when students grasp what they are learning is the reason why Wilson loves teaching.

“It’s that moment with the children and you realize that after all of your efforts, and all of the work and examples, they have that ‘ah-ha’ moment,” she said. “That light comes on, and you realize that they understand and can connect the dots and apply whatever skill or concept that is you’ve been teaching them.

“That moment,” she said.

Wilson did her undergraduate studies at Shelton State Community College and the University of Alabama. At present, she’s working toward her master’s degree in elementary education.

Wilson moved to Andalusia because her husband, Chris, was hired as Straughn’s new head football coach.

She said her time here so far has been great.

“Everyone in this community has been overwhelmingly nice and supportive,” Wilson said. “People have been saying if there’s anything you need, please let me know, here’s my phone number, here’s my email, friend me on Facebook. It’s been different, but in a good way. Not that the people in Chatom and Washington County are this way, but it’s just refreshing to come into a new place where you don’t know anybody and your brand new. Everybody is so willing and accepting of you and all they keep saying is glad to have you here. They genuinely mean it and that makes me feel good.”

Wilson said she is looking forward to working at SES for many years to come.

“I am extremely excited that I am part of the Straughn family and community,” she said. “I look forward to many years of working with these groups of individuals and their children, and we’re happy to be here. We’re proud to be a part of the community.”

Wilson and her husband have two children, Fuller, 2, and Campbell, age 10 months.