A+ Teacher: Sheree Nold didn’t start her career as a teacher, but has found a love for ‘helping students learn and become better people’

Dora High School math teacher Sheree Nold and her husband Shelby moved to Dora in the summer of 2015.

Dora School • high school math, FCA, track/cross country



Dora high school math teacher Mrs. Sheree Nold began her career at Dora in fall of 2020, and her positive attitude and outlook have been a cheerful addition to the staff at the small school in northeast Ozark County. 

“You can tell by the way she teaches and coaches that she loves helping our students learn and become better people,” said Dora Principal Brett Mitchell. “She’s a great teacher and person and our school district and community are extremely lucky to have her and her family here with us.”

Nold lives in Dora with husband Shelby. They have four children: 19-year-old Gunnison, 17-year-old Autumn and 15-year-old twin brothers Cade and Joshua. 


Growing up in a little farm town

Nold grew up on a small family farm in Agency, a town in northwest Missouri about 45 miles north of Kansas City, with an interest in agriculture and rural living and a love for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program. 

“As a child growing up there, Agency was well known for its tractor pulls and frequent flooding,” Nold said of her hometown. “My high school years were filled with many extracurricular activities, sports and club memberships. I graduated high school [from East Buchanon C-1 High School in Gower] with several scholarships, some awarded to me because of my participation in our FFA chapter.”

Nold said FFA was a big part of her high school career, and once she’d graduated high school and enrolled in college, it was that love for agriculture that tilted her college studies in that direction. 

She enrolled in the agriculture department at Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU) in Maryville with a hope to turn her interest into a career. 

“My college years were filled with many wonderful opportunities in addition to receiving a very valuable education,” she explained. “I was involved in the Sigma Alpha Agriculture Sorority, NWMSU Dairy Cattle Judging Team, Ag Club and Christian Campus House and was chosen as a student ambassador for the university,” Nold said. 

Although Nold had found a solid home in the university’s agriculture department, she said she also enjoyed other elements of her education including her science and mathematics classes. 


An internship, a divine appointment and a career at DuPont

In the summer between Nold’s junior and senior college years, she was offered one of two intern positions for DuPont Ag Products open to students in the company’s southwest Iowa territory. 

“This seemed like the perfect fit because it brought two of my interest together: plant science and chemistry,” Nold said. 

As she was rounding out her college career, she was reacquainted with her now-husband, Shelby Nold. 

“This love story would take way too long to share, but just know that it was a divine appointment when Shelby Nold walked into my church’s Sunday School classroom in the summer of 1996,” she said. The pair have been happily married for 24 years. 

She graduated from NWMSU in May of 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture science. She was offered a job at DuPont and accepted, which formulated the first part of her career. 


Teaching: from Sunday school to homeschool to high school

Nold says that although she found her college days and early career focused on agriculture, there’s always been a part of her that’s been drawn to teach. 

“College life brought me in a different direction, I was provided with the opportunities to teach in church youth groups and in Sunday school classrooms,” she said.

In 2010, she was able to delve deeper into teaching when the Nolds decided to homeschool their children. 

“We did this for five years of their early education. It was the right decision for our children at that time, and we have never regretted that decision,” she says. “This being so, we have always wanted them to experience the benefits that come with public school education. We moved to the Dora community in the summer of 2015. About the time we were considering educational options, I was presented with the opportunity to teach high school math and high school science at Faith Christian Academy in West Plains.

“My teaching years at FCA will always hold a special place in my heart, not only for my former students but also because it rekindled my love and desire for teaching,” she said. 

Nold taught at FCA for three years before a family situation caused the family to reorganize. Sheree resigned from her position as part of the transition so that she would be available in another role at home. 


Caregiver, Extension educator and Dora high school teacher

“My father-in-law needed a full-time caregiver, and our family made the decision to have him come live with us,” Nold said. 

The family’s four children enrolled in the Dora School District, and Nold continued her teaching career by serving as a certified substitute when she was needed. 

“In the fall of 2018, after we had entered into a rhythm of caregiving, I applied to be a  nutrition educator for the University of Missouri Extension office in Gainesville. I served in this educational role until 2020 when a high school math position opened at Dora School.”

With a solid love for teaching, some experience with teaching high school math at FCA and a desire to stay in the community she and Shelby were raising their children, Nold applied for the position. 

She was hired under a provisional hiring contract, and she enrolled in the ABCTE (American Board of Certification for Teacher Excellence Program).

“It’s an alternative route for teacher certification that is offered to people who desire to teach and have an already existing B.S. Degree from an accredited university as long as certain GPA requirements are met,” Nold explained. “The Dora administration granted me the first year of teaching to work towards this certification through ABCTE program.”

The program is conducted in two parts, an educational certification and a content matter certification. 

So during Nold’s first year at Dora High School, she managed to teach a full teaching schedule at school during the day and spent her evenings studying to pass the ABCTE program and obtain her teaching certification. 

“It was definitely challenging learning new mathematics curriculum for the classes at Dora at the same time as focusing on my certification. Teaching was the pleasant part of most days. I remember that finding the energy and motivation to study was the greater challenge,” she said. “What helped me the most during this time was the continual encouragement that I received from my husband, family members, friends and Dora administration and staff. I’m not sure that any of those people really know how much their encouragement meant in helping me achieve this certification.”


The joys and rewards of teaching

Nold is now happily through most of her second year of teaching at Dora, and she says she loves her job. This year she’s teaching Pre-algebra, three classes of Algebra I and Consumer Math. She also proctors the dual-credit college Algebra course at Dora. 

In addition to her classes, Nold is a co-sponsor of the class of 2023 (this year’s juniors) along with Mrs. Elizabeth Martin and Mrs. Tracy Lovan. She’s also helping with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, which was chartered last year and has been continually growing. This is her first year as track and field/cross country coach. 

Nold says she finds rewarding moments daily while working with her students in the classroom and athletes on the field. 

“Many times I begin a unit that may seem challenging to the students, and yet, by the end of the unit the student assessments yield a clear understanding of the material,” she said. “This reward will mostly be fulfilled when they reach Algebra 2 and have an understanding of the steps they recall learning from Algebra 1.”

She says she also enjoys seeing FCA members leading Bible studies and praying for students and the school, and she finds a lot of satisfaction in the opportunities to see athletes improve upon their times and reach new personal goals. 

This year Nold coached three student athletes at the state cross country meeting, Emma Martin and two of her own children: Cade and Autumn Nold. 

“When a student earns an all-state recognition, the coach is the one who places the medal and ribbon on the runner’s neck. It was very special this year to do this for two of my children. That will stand out as a sweet memory forever. The relationships that I have the opportunity to build with my students and athletes are by far the greatest reward of teaching,” she said.  


A balancing act

Nold says she feels fortunate to teach at Dora School. 

“I honestly believe I am very fortunate to teach here because I believe we have a top-notch staff and administration. In the two years that I have served our community in the Dora School District, I have come to respect the diligence, integrity and determination that I see each day in those teaching, serving and leading,” she said. “When I have spoken to teachers from other districts it seems that they may encounter challenges that I just have not had to encounter as of yet. This leaves me with such high regard for everyone who helps to make our school district the best that it can be for our students and their families.”

Nold says she thinks the district’s faculty and staff work very well together, and it is that collaborative approach that leads to such a positive work environment. 

“I believe what we have in our Dora School District is rare and very special,” she said. 

Like a lot of teachers, Nold struggles balancing her work and school life. 

“My greatest challenge doesn’t happen at school but in my personal time. I seem to bring work home and not leave it in the classroom as much as I should. I recognize that I need to do a better job of guarding my personal time and seeking out opportunities to refresh myself and recharge,” she said. 


A hopeful promise by the governor

She says she’s hopeful in the recent news that Missouri Governor Parsons has announced steps to fund more money toward education. 

“Teaching isn’t the get-rich-quick profession. It is a profession that flows from the heart and reaches into the lives of those we encounter on a daily basis. I am thankful to see initiatives being considered that would help to move Missouri out of last place in our nation [in reference to teacher salaries]. Being last isn’t exactly where anyone wants to be no matter what category it is in. It generally gives an impression that things can change, that things have room for improvement and that things can most certainly get better. I do believe that people, organizations and businesses spend time and money on what they care about. I hope that these state initiatives end up being evidence of how much Missouri cares about and values education; it is certainly a step in the right direction.”


A classroom sign

But no matter what happens at the state level, Nold says she’s excited to continue her journey serving the students and families within the Dora School District. 

“I believe that God has created each and every person uniquely and wonderfully. I believe that everyone is given a purpose and is created to succeed. I teach with that in mind and I appreciate that no two students are alike,” she said. 

A sign hanging in Nold’s classroom serves as a reminder of her dedication to the students, each seen as individuals. 

It reads: “Students, you are unique. You are important. You are listened to. You will succeed, and you are cared for.”

Ozark County Times

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