ELLISVILLE –Jones College’s American History instructor, Sarah Ishee was recently selected as the Jones College 2020-2021 Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year. She will be honored by the Mississippi Humanities Council and the college on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at 10:45 a.m. in her Jones Hall classroom. Her presentation, “Southern Identity” will be shared via the JC website, https://www.jcjc.edu/ as a health and safety precaution and to adhere to COVID-19 protocols. During her presentation, Ishee will explore what it means to be a Southerner in the 21st century and explore if the South is really that different from the rest of the nation.
“The purpose of my presentation is not to dredge up all the horrors of Southern history but to highlight the positive influences the South has had on the U.S. and the rest of the world. I will dispel some myths about the South, as well as celebrate what makes this region worthy to call home,” said Ishee.
The Ellisville native has been teaching primarily American History and Western Civilization classes at Jones since 2009. After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2005, she began working at Jones College in the Student Accounts and Financial Aid Offices while also working on her Master’s in History Education at William Carey University. In 2009, Ishee was promoted to Registrar and Assistant Director of Admissions & Records before becoming a full-time instructor in 2014.
“Sarah is a remarkable instructor!” said Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Jason Dedwylder. “Her student-centric focus and dedication to improving the lives of those around her are what make her the obvious choice as Jones College’s Humanities Teacher of the Year. There is no doubt this is one of many awards and accolades that will follow Sarah throughout her career as an educator.”
Social Science Division Chair, Dr. Ronald Bishop said Ishee is loved by both colleagues and students. She has a special role within the department and also shares her talents with students in the Honors College and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
“Though American history is her specialty, she is quite versatile and can teach any of our history classes. For many years, she has taught Honors American History. Sarah helps to shape the lives of our brightest students. She is known for her kindness and flexibility in trying to help students and our department would not be the same without her. Jones is fortunate to have her as an instructor,” said Bishop.
Besides teaching and advising PTK students, Ishee is an advisor for the group she assisted in founding, the Jones College Historical Society. She is also a certified, Leadership Development Studies instructor for the Honors Humanities course. The 2002 Jones College graduate is also a member of the Mississippi Historical Society, Mississippi Professional Educators and Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Chapter.
“I cannot express how thankful I am for being nominated. I was speechless and teary-eyed when Dr. Bishop told me I was selected for this honor. I absolutely love what I do for a living. Teaching history and working with students is my calling. I take a lot of pride in my work and I hope that is reflected in my teaching and advising. Being named Humanities Teacher of the Year brings years of studying, researching and teaching full circle,” said Ishee.
Her love for history stems from her father, George Harrison who taught history at Jones for 35 years in addition to serving as Athletic Director and Bookstore Manager. Ishee said her father definitely influenced her career choice.
“I have always known I wanted to teach, but I didn’t realize until I was a freshman in college that I truly wanted to follow my dad’s path. I have big shoes to fill and hope I’ve made him proud!” said Ishee.
Sarah’s parents, George and Princy Harrison have four children, Lisa, George, John and Sarah. Ishee is married to Josh Ishee who teaches commercial and residential maintenance at Jones College. Together they have a four-year-old, Jane who attends the JC Preschool on campus.