Angel Crockett Coleman
Angel Crockett Coleman
Newlywed Angel Crockett Coleman is finally living her dream as a teacher following a long journey that included many ups and downs.

What's more, she became the bride of Marcus Coleman on Oct. 19! They are planning a Christmas honeymoon to the Smoky Mountains.

After graduating from Philadelphia High School, Angel went straight to work as a jailer at the county facility.

"I didn't go directly to college because my grandmother was sick at the time," she said. "She did everything she could when I was a child to make sure I was happy and well taken care of. I never asked for anything that I didn't get.

"Her health failed and I felt she needed me so I put my dreams of being a teacher on hold."

Her grandmother, Mary Hudson, died in 2007.

Prior to her death, Ms. Hudson was able to convince her granddaughter to pursue her degree.

Angel continued to work fulltime at the jail while attending East Central Community College and Mississippi State University except for her last semester when she did her student teaching.

"It was tough," she said of her school and work schedules. "Sometimes, I ask the Lord, 'How did you get me through that.'"

Angel did her practice teaching at Neshoba Central Middle School.

"It was a great experience. My mentor Jo Myatt, turned me loose and said, 'this is your classroom.' She wanted me to get the full experience."

After graduating from MSU in 2011, Angel was hired as a third grade teacher at Philadelphia Elementary School. She presently teaches sixth grade math.

"I love the sixth grade because the kids are more independent," she said. "I can be just as crazy as they are if I want to be. Sometimes they get mad at me but at the end of the day, they still love me."

Angel said two of her high school teachers, Pam Thrash and Brenda Nowell, inspired her.

"After every event that happened in my life, they were there," she said. "When my grandmother died, they were the first two I saw at her funeral. They were always involved in their students' lives. I always wanted to be a compassionate, caring teacher like them."

Angel encourages her students to strive to reach their potential.

"I tell them to be the best they can be," she said.

She even offered a little words of wisdom to others who might be afraid to pursue their dreams.

"Don't underestimate yourself," she said. "One day you will look back and regret it. You don't know what you can do without trying so just keep pushing on."

Avid sports fans, Marcus and Angel like to go to football, baseball and basketball games.

Angel enjoys reading and shopping. She also likes to cook, especially on Sundays.

"I consider myself a good cook because I learned from my grandmother," she said. "We eat a lot of soups. Marcus likes to grill but he doesn't cook."

She has shared several of her recipes.

Baked Potato Soup

9 baking potatoes

2/3 cup butter

2/3 cup all purpose flour

6 cups whole milk

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup bacon bits, divided

4 green onion chopped

10 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

8-ounce container of sour cream

Scoop the flesh out of the baked potatoes. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook about a minute. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup bacon bits, 2 tablespoons of green onions and most of the cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve topped with bacon bits, onions, and cheese.

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

4 cups Swanson Chicken Broth

Ground black pepper

1 medium carrot, sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

1/2 cup uncooked medium egg noodles

1 cup cubed cooked chicken or turkey

Mix broth, black pepper, carrot and celery in saucepan. Heat to a boil.

Stir in noodles and chicken. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes until noodles are done.

Beef and Vegetable Soup

2 pounds ground beef

4 carrots, diced

4 celery ribs, chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (14.5 ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed

1 (15 ounce) can peas, undrained

1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed

1 (15 ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed

ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup water, as needed

Crumble ground beef into a stockpot over medium-high heat; cook and stir until beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain and discard any excess grease.

Stir carrots, celery, and onion into the ground beef; cook and stir until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, tomato sauce, crushed whole tomatoes, undrained peas, corn, and green beans to the pot; season with black pepper. Stir mixture until evenly mixed. Add thyme and bay leaf to the pot. Pour 1/4 cup water over the mixture if needed to moisten mixture, replenishing as needed while cooking.

Bring soup to a simmer; place a cover on the pot, and cook, stirring regularly, until potatoes are tender, about 1 hour.

Georgia Cornbread

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups finely chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Beat eggs, oil, white sugar, and brown sugar together in a bowl until smooth. Stir pecans, flour, and vanilla into the egg mixture; pour into prepared baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup chunky salsa

8 ounces corn tortilla chips

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 

In a large pot over medium heat, cook and stir chicken in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mix well. Then add the broth, corn, onion, chili powder, lemon juice, and salsa. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Break up some tortilla chips into individual bowls and pour soup over chips. Top with the Monterey Jack cheese and a little sour cream.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, with liquid

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid

1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

2 cups water

2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes

1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers

1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside. Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend, and cook on low setting for 8 hours.