Return to Headlines

District Teacher of the Year 2017-18



Article by Sarah Metcalfe, Pontotoc High School

Mr. Sam James, recipient of the PHS Teacher of the Year award and also the District Teacher of Year award, has been a teacher at Pontotoc High School for five consecutive years. As a high school math teacher, Mr. James impacts the minds of students everyday. Whether it's helping a student comprehend a tough math problem, or simply giving out words of encouragement, Mr. James goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure students succeed. When asked why he wanted to become a teacher, he replied, “I had a really hard time understanding algebra, and my teacher, Mrs. Hamm, was able to help me understand it. Once I had that ‘ah-ha’ moment, I felt like it would be really cool to be the one to give other people that feeling.” He also explained the impact he aims to leave on students in his classroom, “I hope that not as many people hate math after they’ve had me because I feel like a majority of people that hate math just don’t understand it. My goal is to help more students understand math.” Mr. James’ unmistakable concern for students and their education is evident in and outside the classroom. “I feel very #blessed as being chosen for teacher of the year.” 

Mr. James in the classroom

Mr. James working with students
Mr. McGaha, Mr. Payne, Mr. James, Mr. Hughes and Dr. Quinn