She’s a class act

 Straughn Elementary School teacher Jill Maddox helps Tristan Turner. Turner nominated her for the WSFA Class Act Award. Center: Maddox teaches her class.
Straughn Elementary School teacher Jill Maddox helps Tristan Turner. Turner nominated her for the WSFA Class Act Award. Center: Maddox teaches her class.

Student nominates teacher for award

“A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.”

That’s what Straughn Elementary School second grade teacher Jill Maddox has done.

Maddox, who was honored Wednesday by WSFA as a Class Act award winner, and was nominated by her student Tristan Turner, is also battling breast cancer.

Maddox said she found out the day of institute in August that she had breast cancer.

“It was stage one, thankfully,” she said.

She just finished her chemotherapy and will begin radiation treatments next week locally.

Principal Bettye Anne Older said that Maddox has been an inspiration and her students have been wonderful.

Older said that Maddox has missed very few days, despite fighting cancer.

“She has come to school wiped out, but came and gave it 100 percent,” Older said. “The parents and the students have been good and supportive.”

Older described Maddox as brave.

“She has been truly an inspiration to all of us,” Older said. “As females we have so much empathy for her.”

Maddox has spent 31 years as a teacher, 10 of those at Straughn Elementary School.

Maddox said she was drawn to education because her family is in education. Her grandmother was a teacher, her father was a coach, teacher and eventually superintendent of education, her brother is currently the superintendent of education and she has another brother in education.

Turner said that Maddox is awesome.

“I like the way she rearranges the classroom,” he said. “It makes you feel like you’re at home.”

Turner said he enjoys doing art work and math.

Turner had his mom send an email to WSFA to nominate Maddox.

WSFA meteorologist Amanda Curran presented the award to Maddox.

“We usually get nominations from teachers and parents,” she said. “So it’s a big deal when we get them from students.”

Curran expects the segment to air sometime at the beginning of February.

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