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: Santa Fe R-10 High School

School District: Santa Fe R-10
Grade/Subject taught: 9-12 ELA, Speech & Drama
Years teaching: 21

What is one of your goals for this year?

One of my goals for the 2019-2020 school year is to implement another Project-Based Learning unit into my ELA classroom.

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

I am a traveler.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I was inspired by my own teachers to instill a love of learning and showing that education, especially English, can be fun.

What is your teaching philosophy?

It is my job to connect my material to the students I have in my classroom; I need to make the material relevant and inspiring to each and every student–to find at least one piece that a student will remember fondly.

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

There isn’t a particular moment, but when students say they have always hated school or English, but they look forward to coming to my class, that is when I know I am doing what I was called to do.

What career would you like to have if you weren’t a teacher?

A travel guide

What’s your favorite book and why?

“The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It has everything–love, betrayal, murder, loss, death–it is a snapshot of the 1920s–it’s decadence and it’s lows.

What’s your favorite school lunch?

Meatloaf or Nacho Bar day–they are both FANTASTIC!

What is something on your bucket list?

To visit all 50 states and most of Europe (I almost have that one completed!).

If you could see one band/performer, living or dead, in concert, who would it be? 

Elvis Presley

What superpower do you wish you had?


If you could travel through time, where would you like to visit?

1940s-1960s–the fashion and the music–WOW!

What do you do to relieve stress?

Go for walks, read, watch movies

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

I was pretty reserved and quiet in school, a little shy around people I didn’t know.

Visit Bunker Hill in 2019