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Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com

Proud and overjoyed

Friday, June 7, 2019

Three years. Nine semesters. Countless dollars and trips to Conway. That’s what it took for my husband Gideon to get his master’s degree in teaching, and now he is gearing up to put that degree into action. I am overjoyed to announce he will be teaching social studies and language arts at Eureka Springs Middle School beginning in August.

This has been a long time coming for the both of us. I vividly remember sitting on the couch with Gideon looking over graduate programs, waiting up until 2 a.m. for him to arrive home from Conway too many times, coordinating our schedules around his internship and so much more. Continuing your education can be tough, especially when you’ve got everything else on your plate.

It certainly wasn’t an easy road for Gideon. While completing his master’s program online, he worked full time until last year. Then he switched to part time to juggle his internship at Eureka Springs High School, which was a challenge of its own. We had to revise our household budget, and he had to find some way to fit everything in. He completed much of his schoolwork in between working at a local hotel; he could focus on school during the night shift if he was lucky and it was a slow night.

When he first started working on his degree, Gideon confessed he felt overwhelmed. He wasn’t sure if it was the right fit. He wasn’t sure if he should keep going. Fortunately, he did keep going and eventually his path led him to the classroom. He worked closely with the English teachers at Eureka Springs High School, where he grew to love the students, staff and environment. That was when he truly realized his passion for teaching.

He received his degree last December and started substitute teaching in January. If you’ve got a kid in the Berryville or Eureka Springs school district, there’s a good chance Gideon has taught them. Through his work at Berryville, he discovered a deep passion for special education. He’s bonded with students and teachers throughout our county, so you can imagine how excited we were when the position opened up at Eureka Springs Middle School.

Gideon has a way of downplaying most things. When I asked him how the interview went, he said he thought it was OK. I could tell that meant it was more than OK. Just one day later, he was offered the position. I cried with happiness when he told me –– it was not a pretty cry and it was in public, but I didn’t even care. Since then, he’s been working on certifications and meeting with school administrators.

This isn’t just good news for Gideon’s career. It’s good news for us both. It means we can start putting down roots in Carroll County instead of living like transients with no idea what the next year will look like. Now we have a pretty solid idea of that. Next year at this time, Gideon will be a teacher at Eureka Springs Middle School and I will continue working at Carroll County News, a job I have loved since my very first day at work.

Everything has come together the way we kept assuring ourselves it would over the past three years. Those of you who have accomplished a seemingly impossible goal know how Gideon is feeling right now: giddy, relieved and a little bit nervous. What happens when you do the thing you’ve worked toward for years?

Well, we’re about to find out.

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com