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: Paris Elementary School
School District: Paris R-2
Grade Taught: Second Grade
Years Teaching: 14 years in classroom, 9 years PAT Parent Educator

What is one of your goals for this year?

One of my goals for this year is to build a community of learners that are kind, respectful, and eager to learn through class meetings, cooperative learning activities, and classroom projects.  

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

I am a builder.  I build relationships with students, parents, families, and my colleagues.  I also provide experiences for my students to help them build conceptual relationships and the foundation skills to be lifelong learners.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Every child is a learner. My job as an educator is to provide students with the experiences and opportunities they need to grow and develop to their full potential as life-long learners. Children learn best in environments that teach and support social and emotional well-being as well as academic learning. As educators we need to provide our students with a variety of experiences with the world around them, create a safe, healthy environment in which to learn, and keep parents/families actively involved in their child’s education.  

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

I would have liked to be a musician, specifically a professional pianist, if I hadn’t chosen to be a teacher.  

What do you do to relieve stress?

To relieve stress I like to play the piano, read a book, or work in the garden.  

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

My students are usually surprised to learn that I can play the piano and organ, and that I have four sons.