PLAS’s Daisy Hollis a ‘Class Act’

Published 9:20 pm Friday, September 25, 2009

Daisy Hollis alternated between hearty laughs and a lump in the throat as she talked about her 32-year, “I believe it is,” teaching career.

Hollis, first-grade teacher at Pike Liberal Arts School, was honored this week as WSFA-TV’s Class Act Award and Ceil Sikes, principal, said there is no teacher more deserving of the recognition.

“Mrs. Hollis works tirelessly for the children that come through Pike Liberal Arts year after year. We are blessed to have her here,” Sikes said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

And Hollis said she considered it a blessing to be there.

Even as a teenager, she enjoyed working with children and, as a senior at Pike County High School, she decided that teaching was the career path for her.

“Besides enjoying children, I also realized that teaching would allow me to work and rear children, and having a family was most important to me, ” she said.

Her first teaching position was as a first grade teacher in the Ozark City School System.

“When the children registered that year, they had about 30 more children than they had anticipated and called me for an interview,” Hollis said. “Over the weekend, they built a room for me in the lunchroom.”

Hollis also taught in Brundidge before moving to PLAS where she has taught first, second, third and fourth grades.

And, if pushed into a corner, Hollis said she would have to say that her preference would be first and fourth grade.

“I really like the fourth-grade curriculum, especially the language, and I love Alabama history,” she said. “I learned right along with the students and it was very exciting. And, I love teaching first grade. The children are learning to read and getting interested in books, although the children are coming to me now knowing how to read. But I still read to them everyday.”

Hollis, laughingly, said when she was in first grade, children couldn’t read. “We didn’t even know our ABCs.”

The teaching profession has been all that Hollis had hoped and even more.

“The students have been wonderful,” she said.

“And Pike Liberal Arts has extremely hard-working parents and such supportive parents. The faculty and staff is good to work with. It has been a good working situation for me for many years.”

Hollis did admit that, when she had young children and stayed home, she worried that she needed to be at school.

“I didn’t think anybody could do my job,” she said, laughing.

“I guess, I thought that I couldn’t be replaced, but now I know that wasn’t true. There are many dedicated and outstanding teachers to step in when those of us decide that it’s time.”

Hollis didn’t say that this is her last year “in first grade,” but she didn’t day it isn’t.

“I taught two of my children and four of my grandchildren and I have two of them now,” she said.

“I will have taught all of my grandchildren except, Wes (Bundy). But, when you start teaching the grandchildren of students you taught ….it’s probably time.”

At that very moment, a grandmother, who was at the school for Grandparents’ Day, stuck her head in the door.

“I sure hope you’re going to be here next year when my little grandson starts first grade,” she said.

Hollis just smiled.

She’s a real Class Act.