Orenza Waddell is the last person to want any fanfare brought to him for a job he considers his calling. Waddell is a soft-spoken gentleman who has made day-to-day differences in the lives of those he comes into contact with through his job at Malone School. He teaches social studies to 9-12 grade students.
Principal Doug Powell says of Waddell, “He’s the best. The students love him and he is an amazing man.
Kim Barber has had the pleasure of working with Waddell and sings his praises, “Mr. Waddell is an awesome teacher and is admired/respected by his coworkers as well as his students, past and present. He teaches in a quiet voice, but it echoes for years in the minds of his students. In my years at Malone, I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about him. He’s a very quiet but you can observe the students in his room soaking in everything he has to say.”
Kacee Floyd is now a teacher at Malone and quickly credits Waddell for the impact he made on her life, “It is because of Mr. Waddell’s respect and love of others that his students respect and love him in return. I am grateful for the influence he had on my life as a student, as well as the example he sets as a colleague.”
Toyka Holden worked alongside Waddell prior to moving to the assistant principal’s position at Golson, “Many people are unaware of probably one of the quietest(literally) and strongest teacher-leaders in Jackson County. Mr. Waddell’s strength is evident in the manner in which he manages his classroom while gaining the respect of students, parents, and colleagues. Even without a booming voice, his presence speaks volumes in the school. I truly enjoyed working with and learning from Reverend Waddell.”
Lisa Tidwell has had the pleasure of not only teaching with Waddell for many years, her son Michael had him as a teacher, “My son Michael McArthur had Mr. Waddell in high school and he has said repeatedly that he was the best teacher at Malone that prepared him for Chipola
As far as being a co-worker of Waddell’s, Tidwell is equally impressed with him, “I personally think so much of him. He is willing to do whatever needs doing to help the kids, coworkers or the school. This year, he gave up his planning period to divide his class of seniors taking economics to all could take the class. He is such an inspiration and great role model for our students. I think very highly of him. I have been paired with him for lunch duty for several years and I love working with him. He is reliable, competent, exceptional, a rare jewel in today’s world. Our students are lucky to have him.”
Teachers come and go in our lives and our children’s lives and ones like Orenza Waddell who make a difference that impacts us for a lifetime are few and far between. Kudos to Orenza Waddell for making a difference and going the extra mile for his students.