Nineteen MSTA members were among the 35 teachers named 2019-20 Regional Teachers of the Year as part of the Missouri Teacher of the Year program through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Each Wednesday, a new profile will be shared online celebrating these outstanding educators. You can see profiles of all 19 MSTA members honored as Regional Teachers of the Year in the Fall 2019 issue of School & Community.

School Building: Four Rivers Career Center
School District: Washington School District
Grade/Subject: Automotive Technology
Years Teaching: I am in my 16th year

What is one of your goals for this year?

My goals for this school year would be to make my students as good as they want to be. We hear a lot of negative comments about our youth, but I still believe they WANT to become better people. It’s our job to find the good in each one of them.

Describe yourself without using the word “teacher” or “educator.”

I would describe myself by quoting one of my students. I am an individual that wants you to be the best you can be, by being the example I want you to be. I remain dedicated and determined to help those I can on and off the job. You will see me at events outside of school and volunteering my time as much as I can. I like to think I will go out of my way to help others. I got that trait from my mother!

Describe a moment when you knew you were following your calling.

I realized I was following my calling when I began to see the positive impact I was making on my students. Those effects I was having on my students and ones in the building were not what I was expecting when I took this job. They began to show me what this job was capable of. It’s more than a profession; it’s a passion!

What’s something about you that your students would be surprised to learn?

Something people and students are surprised to know about me. Well, this one can answer that stress question too. Not many people expect a guy that gets grease under his fingernails to ballroom dance! I took lessons years ago and it’s actually how I met my wife. If you see her, she is out of my league! The only reason I can think of that prompted me to step out and take lessons was watching my grandparents as a child and seeing how much fun they always had dancing.