Elmore County High School math teacher Rosa Stokes has seen the school change over the decades.
This year marks Stokes’ 39th year in teaching at the high school.
“Kids have changed from when I first started,” Stokes said. “The only thing I don’t like about it now is we don’t have as much parental involvement with their children. Back when I first started a lot of parents were more involved with their kids.”
Originally from Montgomery, Stokes taught for a year in Atlanta before returning due to her mother becoming ill. Stokes siblings taught at other Elmore County schools, so she applied for Elmore County High School.
Stokes coached volleyball and girls tennis during her first year and ran Beta Club. She still does Beta Club and is the school’s math club sponsor.
Stokes has taught Algebra 1 and 2, geometry, pre-Advanced Placement Algebra 2 and pre-calculus. She is the head of the school’s math department.
Stokes learns something new every day.
“It’s a challenge some days but I enjoy interacting with the kids and watching their face light up when they learn something new or not light up when it’s hard or they don’t like it,” Stokes said. “It’s fun.”
Stokes said ECHS is a very good school and her students are more respectful than those at other schools.
“I think our kids here feel safe and they get along well with each other,” Stokes said. “It’s a small community so everybody knows everybody… It’s a great community and I would say it’s like a community school because everybody knows everybody and everything that goes on, everybody pitches in and helps.”
Stokes enjoys the community environment of the town of Eclectic and the school.
“It’s unlike any other place to be I think,” Stokes said. “I don’t live here but I feel like I know everybody who lives here. I know more people in Eclectic than I do in Montgomery, let’s put it that way.”
Stokes said her favorite part of working at ECHS is her fellow staff and administration and the students.
“That’s one of the things that keeps me here is having a good staff and good administrators and good kids,” Stokes said. “Otherwise I would not have made it 39 years and that plays a very important part in your job.”
Stokes advice for any teacher wanting to make it almost four decades in their career is to be firm and fair to their students.
“I believe in treating everybody the same,” Stokes said. “Across the board be firm and fair. Treat kids with respect and then you’ll get respect.”