Knight Spotlight


Arinn Griffith

Diana Mays-Neilson Farmington High School Teacher.

Do you ever feel the need to fake cuts or bruises? Or to perform a speech in front of your classmates? Well, Mrs. Diana Mays-Neilson has you covered, she teaches several classes such as College Public Speaking, Creative Writing, Special Effects Stage-Makeup, Science Fiction-Shakespeare-and the Supernatural, Drama l, and lastly Advanced Drama. Mrs. Mays-Neilson is very involved within Farmington High school, from teaching a variety of classes to directing the school’s theatrical productions that many have grown to love.

Mrs. Mays-Neilson has taught for about 23 years, but not all of that teaching was done at FHS, she has taught at Southeast Missouri State University which most refer to as SEMO, Farmington High School, as well as several years adjunct at Mineral Area College. As you can tell 23 years is quite a long time to be teaching and many things can change within that time frame from 1998 to 2021, for instance, “ The amount of school safety drills and lockdown procedures has increased. A lot of things were done on actual paper instead of electronically and there were no virtual classes.” comments Mays-Neilson. With that being said one of the things that Mrs. Mays-Neilson loves most about teaching is “The relationships I’ve formed with the students. I love hearing from former students and hearing about their successes, seeing their growing families, and watching them continue to blossom into what they are meant to be.” remarks Mays-Neilson.

Mrs. Mays-Neilson is exceptionally involved within the school, as some might not know she leads in the student theatrical shows that get performed each year by the student body. Even though she enjoys those to a great extent, that would not be her favorite event she has done in the past. Her most loved event that she’s been a part of is the Jellybean Festival which is “A talent show for special services kids from all over the area.” states Mays-Neilson. The Jellybean Festival was unable to occur last year due to COVID-19 but has overall been around for 4 years prior.

Along with many other teachers that you may have, each teacher typically has one fact about them that many students don’t know about. “One interesting thing about me that most students don’t know is that I hate mint. Just the smell of it makes me throw up. Not kidding.” comments Mays-Neilson. Furthermore, as similar to your other teachers Mrs. Mays-Neilson has a singular quote that has stuck with her throughout her years of teaching “knowing and doing are two different things. I’m fairly certain my kids will have that carved on my tombstone.” says Mays-Neilson. Whether you have or haven’t had Mrs. Mays-Neilson as a teacher, you now know a great deal about her than you might have before.