Ann Wells recognized for giving 45 years to MHS
It was happy tears shed by Ann Wells at the 2013-2014 Manila Homecoming as she was surprised by her former students, co-teachers and friends. Mrs. Wells, as she is known by her students, has been attending Manila homecoming festivities for over 50 years.
A Manila High School alumna, Wells chose to return to her hometown after college and spent 45 years teaching high school students. It was more than a career, it was her calling.
She graduated from MHS in 1965 and Arkansas State University in 1968.
During her first two years teaching she worked in the school helping out where she was needed. She assisted Mrs. Miles in the office, she taught economics, typing, filled in for teachers and worked where she was needed until she got her own math classroom.
It was an emotional decision for Mrs. Wells to retire at the end of the 2013 school year. She waited until the very last day of the school year to make her decision known.
"My co-workers have been so good to me through the years I hated for them to do more," Wells said. "They did so much when we lost our daughter, then my mother and my sister."
When her former students heard about her retirement they wanted to do something special for the teacher who had helped them learn from beginning algebra to the advanced math classes.
Ray Benson got the ball rolling for the surprise but many others were pleased to join in to make it happen.
Wells was called out at the halftime of the junior high basketball game when Superintendent Pam Castor, former student, co-worker and then her boss, presented her with a plaque in recognition of her 45 years of dedicated service to the Manila School District.
The plaque was just the first part of the surprise for Wells. Benson and several other alumni members presented her with four round-trip airline tickets anywhere she chooses and a cash gift.
Benson said Mrs. Wells has given so much, the gift was just a small way to give back to a very deserving teacher.