Dr. Melissa Jackson, Regional Education Development Specialist

Dr. Melissa Jackson, Regional Ed Development Specialist

We’re excited to spotlight Dr. Melissa Jackson, who recently joined our team as a Regional Education Development Specialist. We recently had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her background in education and experiences with Audio Enhancement.

You used to be a teacher—Where and when did you teach? What subject and what grade(s)?

I taught Middle School Language Arts in Newton County, GA for 16 years. I was blessed to teach in a variety of settings including EBD, Title One, and Gifted. I have 4 years of district leadership experience and have served as the District Instructional Technology Director and the District Gifted Director.

What made you want to become a teacher?

I didn’t really choose to become a teacher—it chose me. I have always loved to learn, but I didn’t like being at school. As a middle school student, I didn’t understand why school was so boring. I had a couple of teachers that made learning more engaging than others, but I had one teacher that truly changed the game for me. Mrs. Boyum was my 9th-grade Algebra teacher. She made each of us feel like we truly mattered, and she made learning fun. This made me want to do the same for others. I wanted other people to love to learn the way I did and see that learning didn’t have to be boring.

What was your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part of teaching was middle school kids! I am a sassy person, and I love working with sassy middle school students—you never know what you are going to get from them. Seeing students begin to love learning and want to come to school because they know they are cared for is the best feeling in the world. I have many that I taught as middle school students that I was blessed to mentor as first year teachers as they began their careers. This was a true blessing. I truly cherish the relationships I built with my students over the years and credit them for building me into the person I am today.

What was your least favorite part about teaching?

My least favorite part of teaching was definitely knowing that I couldn’t fix all of my student’s problems. I am a very empathetic person and when students came into the classroom with the weight of the world on their shoulders, it was hard to feel like I couldn’t “fix” all their problems for them. I took all of their problems home with me each and every day.

When did you stop teaching, and what brought you to Audio Enhancement?

I left the classroom in 2013 to work at the district level and returned in 2018 for a short time. I left again in 2019 to join the Audio Enhancement family. As a district-level administrator, I was able to work with Audio Enhancement as a customer. I saw how much of an impact Audio Enhancement solutions made in the classroom. I was honored when I was asked to join the AE family and work with teachers nationwide to share the work we do and continue making a difference.

Why do you think Audio Enhancement makes a difference for teachers?

Wow… this is a big question for me. I genuinely have a passion for serving teachers and students. This is why I joined the AE family. Audio Enhancement was developed initially because a mother wanted to provide a better education for her children. This is the ultimate goal at the heart of every educator.

Audio Enhancement makes a difference because we listen to the needs of teachers to develop products FOR teachers. Education has become much too often about pushing products on educators that they don’t want or need and don’t work in a real classroom. The audio, video, and safety products really are designed for real teachers in real classrooms. As a person who has always loved learning, it makes me feel good that I can help teachers use things in their classrooms that help them continue learning and become better teachers. I know this means we will have more students that will love learning.

We are grateful to have Dr. Jackson as part of our team and appreciate all the knowledge and experience she brings. Her insights are priceless in helping us understand what educators really want and need and how we can help them the most.

Employee Spotlight: Patrick Sobak, Territory Sales Representative

Employee Spotlight: Patrick Sobak, Territory Sales Rep

Patrick Sobak spent 13 years working as an educator and with educators before he came to Audio Enhancement. His experience in education helps him understand many of the challenges that today’s teachers face. Patrick values education and knows the importance of making it as effective as possible.

Patrick grew up watching and admiring the difference his mom made as a teacher. When he went to college, Patrick got a job working with children and discovered he loved working with kids. That was when he knew he wanted to follow in his mother’s footsteps and become a teacher, too.

Joys and Challenges of Teaching

Patrick taught math, science, and social studies to fifth and sixth graders for six years in South Carolina. When asked what his favorite part of teaching was, he had a hard time choosing. He loved the students, especially his 5th and 6th graders. He loved getting to know a new group of students each year and watching them grow and learn. He loved that each day was different with different opportunities.

 Of course, every job has its challenges. The demanding schedule and lack of time were the hardest things for Patrick. He often felt like he worked two jobs—teaching the students during the school day, then grading papers, talking to parents, and prepping lessons in the afternoon and evening. Patrick also felt they lacked time to fully cover standards and still discuss certain subjects at a deeper level. Experiencing this struggle helped him understand how important it is to ease the burden on teachers and make classrooms as efficient as possible.

Working With Educators

When Patrick left teaching, he did so to work with educators on a different level—with education software. He enjoyed the opportunity to help school districts get software that would serve their needs and then help teachers implement it. When it was time for Patrick to move away from the software industry, he chose to sell Audio Enhancement products because, “I’d heard many great things about Audio Enhancement and the products speak for themselves.”

Because Patrick has been in the shoes of teachers, he understands how helpful it is to lighten their load. Teachers have a taxing job with very little downtime—any chance to make their lives and jobs easier is valuable. One product he feels can help significantly is a classroom audio system. They help relieve stress on teachers’ voices because the teachers don’t have to talk so loudly all day. Additionally, the system offers benefits in improving student behavior, which also eases teacher stress.

We are grateful to have dedicated employees like Patrick Sobak, who care about educators and the challenges they face.

Employee Spotlight: Alex North, Territory Sales Manager

Employee Spotlight: Alex North, Territory Sales Manager

After teaching for four years, Alex North made his way to Audio Enhancement, where he continues to make an impact in education. North is the Territory Sales Manager over Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia. He is dedicated to not only bringing Audio Enhancement to more schools in his region, but to making sure each of those schools is using the technology to make classrooms more effective. Continue reading “Employee Spotlight: Alex North, Territory Sales Manager”