Great communities have great schools. High Point Schools Partnership creates impactful connections between our schools and the wider community to ensure students and their families are supported and can reach their full potential in High Point schools.
Part of High Point Schools Partnerships’ mission is to improve the image of our schools through storytelling. Who better to tell the stories of High Point’s schools than the people experiencing it first-hand? In this series of articles, we will highlight our 2022 High Point Extraordinary Educators as we dive deeper into what keeps them motivated in the face of constant challenges.
2022 Extraordinary Educator: Chaun Doak
Chaun Doak started teaching in various roles at Johnson Street Global Studies 15 years ago. She started at Johnson Street because, long ago, she was a student there and was thrilled at the opportunity to go back and be a teacher there. Today, she continues to stay at Johnson Street because of the “family connections” made between colleagues, students, and families.
Kris Wheat, the former principal of Johnson Street Global Studies, says Mrs. Doak “captivates her students with her passion for reading and her flair for creative instructional practices.”
According to Wheat, “When you’re in Mrs. Doak’s classroom, it’s like you are watching her perform on a stage. Her excitement for learning is contagious and her students are excited to see what she has to offer each day.”
Mrs. Doak wants her students to know that “I believe in them, love them, and will always be here if they need me and expect great things from them. (Honestly, though, I think they know and believe it!)”
Q: What inspired you to become an educator?
A: As a child that literally hated school, I struggled a bit in my first years of college. When I was in a place where I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, God stepped in. A lady by the name of Jean Bowman ran a through-the-week program at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church here in High Point many years ago; she had heard that I had come back home and asked me to come substitute for her. I did reluctantly and ended up working with a child that had experienced trauma and had withdrawn completely. After months of working with him, he began to come out of his shell and the growth he made was spectacular. I knew then, I wanted to work with students in helping them overcome their struggles and to grow as good people. When I decided to go back to school to get my degree in education at High Point College, I had a professor, Dr. Ward, who refused to give up on me when I was struggling academically. When I did not believe in myself, he did and worked with me so that I could pass his course. When he passed, I promised that I would honor him by doing for others what he had done for me. The rest was history.
Q: What’s your teaching/leadership style?
A: I try to lead by example. Anything I will ask of others; I will also do myself. This often amazes my students as I will complete the same projects, I am asking them to complete or read a book that they recommend to me. I build honest, strong, and supportive relationships with my students, taking the time to truly understand each one of them. Once those connections are made and the respect is mutual, anything is possible!
Q: Do you have a classroom motto or philosophy you abide by? Why?
A: After 2-3 years of living, teaching, and learning through a pandemic, my motto became simply to “Never Give Up”, because as we learned, we CAN get through some of the most difficult times if we just stay positive, work together and BELIEVE in ourselves. Of course, I am ALWAYS reminding them to BE KIND to one another because what you put out into this world is exactly what will come back to you. I guess that’s a lot and what it really comes down to is BEING A GOOD PERSON.
Q: What’s your favorite part about every day?
A: A lot of teachers will tell you the dismissal is the best part of the day, but for me seeing those “ah-ha” moments with students is the best. When a student wants to talk with me about a book they just read, that feeling just can’t be beaten. The best part of every day is knowing that I get to get up the next day and do it all over again knowing that each day is different.
Q: What’s your most memorable moment as an educator?
A: After 32 years of teaching, there are far too many to choose from, but what I think speaks the loudest is when your students from years past, come back and thank you for all you did to make them become who they are today and to introduce their own families.
Q: Is there any other information you would like us to share with the community?
A: These are turbulent times in public education and what we need the very most is positive support in the ways of media, community communication, financial support from county commissioners, and encouragement. We need to truly invest in our educators as WE are the backbone that supports all our futures.
Mrs. Doak is just one of High Point’s 2022 Extraordinary Educators. Tune in for the next few weeks to hear more stories and inspiring moments from our local teachers!
Thank you so much to Chaun Doak for your dedication to High Point’s students. Congratulations on being selected as your school’s 2022 Extraordinary Educator!
Article written by High Point Schools Partnership Staff