Wenona Mishue credits her father for encouraging her to pursue a career in education.
“He would tell me when I was younger I was always trying to teach others how to do something,” Mishue said. “With his encouragement, I went into the education field and ended up loving it. I can’t image doing anything else.”
Over the last 17 years, Mishue has honed her skills in classrooms in Robeson and Scotland County.
She has gained respect among her peers and her administration as a science teacher at Spring Hill Middle School in Laurinburg. At the beginning of this school year, Mishue was named Scotland County Teacher of the Year.
School officials presented her with a $1,000 prize and a brand new 105 Nissan Altima SL, which she is leasing for one year at no cost courtesy of Griffin Nissan.
“I am excited to take on this challenge,” Mishue said. “My desire is to represent my community and this county well. I am so proud to represent the Lumbee people as I move on to compete for the state competition.”
Teaching came natural for Mishue - the oldest of five children.
Raised in Pembroke, she is the daughter of Rev. Oscar Jr. and Alice Henderson. She graduated from West Robeson High School and went on to earn a degree to teach math from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
In 1998, Mishue embarked on her career as a math teacher at Purnell Swett High.
That year was a dark time for the Henderson family. Wenona’s father lost his battle with cancer in November. He was 46.
The next day, Wenona’s 16-year-old sister, Marcie, passed away. The doctors, at the time, were unable to determine what caused Marcie’s sudden death. The family later learned she developed complications from a heart ailment. Marcie was a student at Purnell Swett.
Wenona taught math for five years at Purnell Swett before taking a job with Spring Hill Middle School. She would later earn a master’s degree in Middle Grades Education.
She began as a math teacher, but now teaches eighth grade science.
“Teaching at Purnell Swett at the high school level really prepared me for teaching eighth grade. I am able to identify with my kids.”
Mishue describes herself as a strict disciplinarian in the classroom.
“I want my kids to understand that there are always going to be rules in life,” she said. “I want them to know that, no matter where they come from, they can do anything they want to if they set their mind to it. My goal is to prepare my kids for high school and college.”
Mishue is currently studying to become a school administrator. Her goal is to become a principal. Until then, she is preparing her portfolio for the state Teacher of the Year competition. Mishue will learn if she is a finalist in November.
Mishue lives in Wagram with her husband, Mitchell. They have four children and one grandchild. She has two sisters, Misty and Crystal, and a brother, Oscar Henderson III.