School: Smithville High School

Residence: Smithville

Age: 60

High school alma mater: Chippewa High School

College: Heidelberg University for undergraduate degree; Malone University for Master’s Degree

Family: Jim and Jill Frizell (brother and sister-in-law), three nieces, one nephew; Shawshank (my Golden Retriever); Red and Andy (two cats, named after the main characters in The Shawshank Redemption)

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Subjects taught: High school and college-level English and Composition classes

What is the best part of your job? While I love what I teach and am passionate about the need people have to read and to write well, the best part of the job is working with the kids. I truly enjoy spending my days with them. It’s always exciting when I see the progress they make within the year they are in my classes.

What is the most challenging part of your job? The most challenging part of the job is keeping up with the workload. All of my students read books and since I teach five different courses, I’m always reading multiple books at the same time. Too, most of the assignments in my classes deal with writing, which means I’m also always grading.

What secret to success would you share with students? The best secret to success is to love what you’re doing. I can’t imagine how people go to work day after day hating their jobs. I’m in my 37th year of teaching, and many have told me that I should retire so that I can go do what I want to do. My answer is very simple: I am doing what I want to do. I love my job, and I love my school. This is a great job.

Your students would be surprised to know that you...? I play the piano, taking lessons for about 12 years. Many of my students know I play, what they probably don’t know is that I’ve played for about 19 weddings of former students, something that I’ve always been honored to do when asked.

What’s your hidden talent? I have a strong faith, although I don’t necessarily want that to be hidden. My faith in God has allowed me to face whatever may come without too much worry because I know Who it is that directs my steps.

If you weren’t a teacher, you’d be doing what? I have absolutely no idea. When I was a second-grader in Hazel Harvey Elementary School in Doylestown, I said that I wanted to be a teacher and that desire never changed. Incredibly and thankfully, I am doing what I’ve always wanted to do.

After a long day at work, what’s the best way to relax? It’s going to be a typical English teacher response – read a book. As my students know, I don’t think there is any better place to be than a Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Second best to that would be sitting at home, with a cup of coffee, reading a book just for the heck of it.