I am so thankful for the opportunity to be mentored by the one and only, Michelle Camp. Before I had the pleasure of interviewing her, I have been able to learn from her in the shadows at Business and Marketing Conferences, DECA Conferences, and ACTE functions. Without even talking with her, anyone that attends these conferences can see Michelle’s diligent work ethic and how much she cares for ACTE, its members, and her students.
We all have a story; a place we come from that has led us to where we are today. I got a little emotional hearing about how she first learned about CTSO’s, because I have students of my own in Pea Ridge DECA that can relate. You could say Michelle was one of those kids that always stood out, but never fit in. She had this bubbly personality, but wasn’t sure how to use it productively (according to her teachers). CTE educators helped Michelle use her voice and find her “niche” in high school public speaking! After speaking with Michelle further about her background, I could not help but share her life philosophy with you all. She takes on every opportunity with stride, confidence, and prayer (my favorite part!). Whether the door stays open or closes, she knows she put herself out of her comfort zone and gave it her best. That is proof of a leader.
While Michelle started out teaching special education, she ended up in Marketing where she found her love for DECA, and then ACTE. How cool is it that our Career and Technical Student Organizations help us get so involved in other organizations (such as ACTE) and build our networking? (I, too, found my love for ACTE through DECA and the people involved.) It was through networking and understanding how beneficial being an ACTE member was that Michelle started to get involved. She sat on various committees and represented us Marketing teachers well and continues to do so as our President of Arkansas ACTE. Becoming an ACTE fellow and attending conferences such as NPS and Vision are what helped prepare her as my current ACTE president and great mentor.
I do not know about you all, but I have worked with teachers that probably should not be teaching. Instead of positively encouraging, they complain about everything and cause more chaos than learning. This is the opposite of Michelle. She loves working with high school kids and even though she could be doing big things in the business world and making lots of money for a Marketing company, her true joy comes from seeing her students be successful. Michelle stated, “My success is not complete without theirs!”
We are so lucky to have her on our team!