Tahlequah Daily Press


September 17, 2013

Herrin empowers kids to love learning

TAHLEQUAH — Seasoned teachers know the gift they give children when they empower them to love learning.

Establishing a foundation of enjoying school is invaluable to young children, especially, since they are just discovering the wonders of the world.

From those foundations children grow to realize the power of an education as a tool to achieve their goals in life.

Tenkiller School kindergarten teacher Melissa Herrin likes to open those doors of empowerment through encouragement, caring, and a love for learning.

“I want each of my students to know that they are special and loved, and that if they work hard and make good choices they can do anything,” Herrin said. “I really enjoy working with this age group. The children are so full of energy and eager to learn. They have so many things to experience and it’s such a joy to be a part of it.”

Each teacher has personal reasons for choosing education as a career, and for Herrin, it is valuing the children.

“I became a teacher because I love children and what they represent,” she said. “God has given us this great gift and it is up to us to cherish them and to teach them right from wrong.”

Most teachers encourage parents to help them help their children, as well. For Herrin that includes communicating and being involved with their children.

“I advise parents to read to their kids and talk to them, give them a chance to talk to you and listen to them,” Herrin said. “Communication is a big deal to kids: Let them tell you about their day and be involved with them.”

This is her 19th year to teach and her 17th year at Tenkiller.

“Tenkiller School is such a great place to be. The faculty and staff are like one big family,” she said.

Herrin is a graduate of Tahlequah High School and Northeastern State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and early childhood education.

For new teachers, her encouragement is to take baby steps.

“Take it a day at a time, day by day and be there for the kids,” she said.

One teacher who stands out for Herrin as exceptional and genuine in his caring was also her physical education teacher in grade school, and the principal where she interned.

“Denver Spears always seemed genuinely concerned with the kidsm and when I was interning, I watched him,” she said. “Even though he was principal, he would still go out and interact with kids at recess; he’d play football and be involved with them. He genuinely cares and shows it. He still does. When I talk to him, he still asks how I am doing.”

Herrin and her husband, Jay, have two children, Baylee and Reece.

In her free time, she enjoys family activities.

“I love to bake, go on vacations, and spend time with my family,” she said.

Text Only
  • rf-Quilt-1.jpg UKB quilting class touts tribal tradition

    Recently, several women and one man gathered to learn or refresh their sewing skills. They created quilt pieces at the United Keetoowah Band Wellness Center, with instructors Cindy Hair and Ernestine Berry, director of the John Hair Cultural Center and Museum.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Faith-7-29.jpg New opportunity opens door for local pastor

    A unique opportunity for ministry training will begin next year in Tahlequah.
    The River Ministries will be launching The River Training Center, a complete ministry school. The training center will also perform community outreach and sponsor mission trips, all beginning in January 2015.
    The founder of the school, Pastor Brandon Stratton, was raised in Tahlequah and previously pastored Calvary Assembly of God Church.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 22ndAmendment.jpg Presidential terms limited by 22nd Amendment

    The past 30 years have been marked by occasional grumbling from one American political party, and celebration from the other - depending on who occupies the White House - about the disqualification of a president after eight years of service.
    For much of the nation’s history, a presidency could last indefinitely.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • sg-Paperbacks.jpg Paperbacks still survive in the digital age

    In an era when mobile technology is always at hand, most people can access an electronic book at any time. Such literary luxuries weren’t widely available to previous generations until the dawn of the paperback book.
    Wednesday, July 30, is set as a day to celebrate the low-cost, portable book during National Paperback Book Day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways