20 Under 40 Class of 2021: Bella Mitchell – Lanett City Schools

Published 9:43 am Monday, May 24, 2021

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Starting in 2019, Bella Mitchell, 25, has been on the sidelines for every Lanett sporting event as the school’s athletic trainer. Now in her second year at Lanett, Mitchell is getting the opportunity to impact the lives of the Lanett students in the classroom alongside the field or the court, as she started working as the family and consumer sciences teacher.

“I think because I’m doing both [jobs] at the same school, I think that I can impact the students in the classroom but also outside the classroom,” Mitchell said. “I like to get to know them and have multiple roles or impacts in their lives. I can develop them in the classroom and out of the classroom as athletes.”

Mitchell, who is originally from San Antonio, Texas, developed her passion for athletic training while she was in high school. While she was in high school, Mitchell helped out as a student-athletic training aid, where she practiced and fell in love with the profession.
Also while she was in school, Mitchell was playing soccer at a high level but dealt with her fair share of injuries. Because of those injuries and the experience she had as a training aid, she decided to pursue a career in athletic training.

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“That’s why I can relate to the athletes because I’ve dealt with injuries of my own that held me back. I had to realize if I got to the next level and this happens, I have to make sure I’m doing what I can continue to do forever,” Mitchell said. “I needed to find something that involved sports and helping people because those are my two passions.”

While Mitchell was at Texas Lutheran University for her bachelor’s degree in athletic training, she discovered her passion for teaching. 

“Obviously athletic trainers can be all over the place like I have a friend who works for Delta, and she’s an athletic trainer,” Mitchell said. “I’ve always known that I wanted to work in secondary school. I’ve really always wanted to work with high school-aged kids. People always remember their high school teachers to help them get ready for the real world. I’ve always wanted to be a high school teacher and do both roles. I’m living out what I’ve always wanted to do.”

After graduating from Texas Lutheran, Mitchell moved to her parents’ home state of Alabama and earned a master’s degree in education at Auburn University, where she graduated in 2020.

Mitchell started her teaching career this school year. Originally, she was going to be working at W.O. Lance Elementary School, helping with the learning specialists. However, the week before school started, LCS Superintendent Jennifer Boyd called Mitchell to the central office to talk about the family and consumer sciences position at the high school, as the previous teacher had just retired.

“She said ‘We think you’re really young, energetic and bring a lot of good energy to the role. Would you be interested?’ That was pretty crazy,” Mitchell said. “Within a few days, I had to plan out a class. I ended up getting the job.”

In the future, Mitchell said she eventually wants to progress into school administration.