This is part of a series introducing new Fort Scott educators.
Johnna Walls, 22, is a new fourth-grade teacher at Eugene Ware Elementary School in Fort Scott.
She graduated from Fort Scott Community College with an associate of science degree, then Ottawa University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. OU was where her grandfather, John Walls, also graduated with an education degree, she said.
Walls spent the last three years serving as a substitute paraprofessional and substitute teacher throughout the Fort Scott district.
Her family includes her parents, Wayne and Colleen Walls, and a brother, Timothy Vaughan, and now includes her boyfriend Christian Cox, and two dogs Peach and Ponch.
After working as a paraprofessional at Eugene Ware Elementary she got inspired to teach, she said. “I previously had no interest in teaching, however, working with these amazing kids changed something in me and I knew this was what God was calling me to do with my life. My first group of students at Eugene Ware inspired me to take a leap and I am thankful every day for those students.”
For Walls, the best part of teaching is the relationships.
“I meet so many amazing kids from an array of backgrounds and I am able to lead them to see the world of possibilities that are open to each and every one of them,” she said. “More than anything, I love seeing them come in at the beginning of the year and then transform into confident, capable, and thriving individuals.”
“Challenges are everywhere within the realm of teaching,” Walls said. “Yet, the challenges are continuously outshined by the numerous accomplishments and happy moments that are always popping up within the school. Challenges are simply a step in creating positive change and positive outcomes.”
Outside of her career, she travels nationwide rodeoing, she said.
“I barrel race on my horse, Rocket, while also cheering on Christian while he rides bulls.”
Carlee McCullough, 29, is a new teacher at Fort Scott Preschool, which is a part of USD 234.
She graduated from Pittsburg State University and has one year of experience teaching second-grade at Hume, MO.
She and her husband Danny McCullough have two boys, Canyen and Callen.
“I pursued teaching because I wanted to make a difference and I’m someone who loves a challenge,” she said. “In education, you are constantly being challenged with problem-solving ways to help your students reach their full potential.”
“The best part of teaching hands down has to be when you see the light bulb or ‘aha ‘moment in your children’s eyes or on their face,” McCullough said. “It’s that moment when they understand what you have taught them. It’s so exciting because not only are you so proud of them but you can tell how proud of themselves they are and those moments are so special and so fun.”
“A challenge for me is just making sure I’m showing up each day as the best version of myself, but it’s a challenge I look forward to each day,” she said.
Outside of her teaching career, she helps on the family farm with haying in the summer, checking cattle, doctoring cattle, and weaning calves in the next couple of weeks, she said.