By: Taylor Herring
After years of teaching AP students, preparing for state subject area tests, and helping students excel, both Ann Shoemake and Andrea Clark announce resignation this year. For somewhat unexpected reasons, these two Star Teachers will be finishing out this year and moving in quite opposite directions.
Shoemake was the first to announce resignation; she herself hadn’t planned on leaving Oak Grove for years. Upon a surprising twist of fate, however, Shoemake was forced to concede to leaving not only her job, but also her husband and life of comfort behind. After avoiding paying income taxes for nearly three years, law officials confirmed Shoemake’s tax fraud. “It all started after the stock market crashed. My husband and I were, well, more active than we should have been,” she explained. The district court has not yet confirmed her sentence, but Shoemake’s attorney feels strongly that she will be facing time behind bars. Through previous connections, however, Shoemake’s lawyers have been attempting to place her in a comfortable facility: Alderson Prison Units in West Virginia. Shoemake was immediately drawn to Alderson, as this was where Martha Stewart spent time after her own stock market scandal.
Shoemake began evading income taxes after the pay cut for teachers went into place. “Her teaching contract prevents officials from taking immediate action,” her lawyer commented. “Once it expires in May, Ann will be facing some very bleak times.”
Although her students, fellow teachers, and family are disappointed and embarrassed by Shoemake’s decision to commit tax evasion, administrators still consider her to have been quite an asset to the school.
On a much lighter note, Andrea Clark is announcing early resignation
as well, (although for an entirely different reason). After 16 years of teaching AP students and being named a Star Teacher five times, Clark has chosen to move in a different direction and join the Peace Corps. After teaching her students to be part of the world, to know about all cultures, and to avoid living sheltered lives, Clark decided that she herself should lead by example.
As the Peace Corps commemorates its 50th anniversary, Clark saw no better time than now to join the organization. “Since I found out Mrs. Shoemake was leaving next year, I decided this seemed like a good time for me to relocate as well,” Clark said. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself; it will give me a chance to reflect on my own priorities.” After finishing this school year, Clark will face three months of training before being assigned to her location where she will commit to two years of field work.
Clark’s only worry is leaving her children at home. “Of course I’ll miss them, but my leaving gives the boys a chance to stay with their dad. They’re old enough to understand.”
The real story…
For those who haven’t figured it out by now, Mrs. Shoemake did not actually commit tax fraud, nor did Ms. Clark join the Peace Corps… go figure. Although Shoemake has actually met Martha Stewart at a Chi Omega Alumni event in Jackson, she will not be following in her footsteps by spending hard time in Alderson Prison in West Virginia. Likewise, although Clark may, let’s face it, love nothing more than spreading peace to all nations, she is not announcing early resignation either.
Losing two of the best, most committed teachers at Oak Grove would have been upsetting for Clark and Shoemake’s students and fellow teachers alike. They have both served not only as educators, but also as role models, and would have been greatly missed. Mrs. Shoemake has taught at Oak Grove for 20 years and considers her time here to be some of the most fulfilling years of her life. Likewise, Ms. Clark has been at Oak Grove for 16 years, and would have a much harder time leaving her Acc. English I and Humanities students behind than she might lead us to believe. Lucky for us, however, we won’t have to worry about losing Clark or Shoemake for a while.
As far as we know, Oak Grove’s favorite English-teaching, tax-evading, peace-spreading jokesters are here to stay.