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: Bronaugh Elementary School
School District: Bronaugh R-7
Grade/Subject taught: First Grade
Years teaching: 21
What is one of your goals for this year?
As a district, our Elementary is going to be starting a new Math curriculum. I am really hoping to implement it with rigor and am hoping the students enjoy it as well.
Describe yourself without using the word “teacher” or “educator.”
I am a compassionate mother, friend, and instructor that genuinely wants others to know that I am concerned about them and what they are going through in their lives.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Two extremely impactful teachers of mine were my own two parents who were teachers in this small school District of Bronaugh and surrounding small districts. One of the reasons I decided to become a teacher was the influence they have had with so many children in their lifetime. Not only were they school teachers and had their own family, but they also kept foster children. The powerful impact that they had and still do have on children whether they were in their classroom or in their own house will always be remembered for generations to come.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My school is my other home. It is what helps define me. Every day I come to work I am determined to teach in such a way that each child will be comfortable, feel safe, and make decisions to behave appropriately and in a way that will help them learn to the fullest extent possible. I am so thankful and blessed I am able to be a part of so many children’s lives here in this small school district I love to call my home, Bronaugh.
Describe a moment when you knew you were following your calling.
I have been preparing for school at Bronaugh now for thirty three years. Twenty one of those have been as the school’s 1st grade teacher. The other twelve were my formative years as a young student in the same district. My decision to teach in the Bronaugh R-7 School District came about not just because it has great people with a determination to persevere, but because it is my home and I love Bronaugh. The desire to have an impact on the lives of children and their families in my hometown was planted in my heart long ago by the Lord and by the example of my parents who were also teachers. There really was no other choice after he spoke this desire into my heart. I so appreciate and plan to continue this heritage as long as I am allowed.
What career would you like to have if you weren’t a teacher?
I have always enjoyed doing hair and makeup and really considered that as a child. Now that I am an adult, besides teaching, one of things I love doing the most is cooking. So, maybe being a cook and having catering business would have been another choice. However, I am really so glad that I chose to be a teacher.
What’s your favorite book and why?
Love Comes Softly, by Janet Oke. This is the first book I ever fell in love with. This was around my 7th- grade year. I still love it and have read it several times.
What’s your favorite school lunch?
I would have to say that meatloaf day is my favorite! Yummy! We have amazing cooks at Bronaugh!
What is something on your bucket list?
I think I would like to visit Israel someday and see where Jesus actually lived and walked.
If you could see one band/performer, living or dead, in concert, who would it be?
I would love to see my father’s Southern Gospel Quartet perform again. He played the piano for them for 40 plus years. They were called the SeKanAires.
What superpower do you wish you had?
If I could take poverty away from others, I would. Children and adults suffer mentally and physically and live in horrible situations because of poverty issues in our country today.
If you could travel through time, where would you like to visit?
I would love to visit with Jesus Christ. He loved people so much that he died for us. No one can love more than that. He is my personal savior and I will see him some day. I have so many questions to ask, but more than anything I just want to thank him for his love for me and for directing my life.
What do you do to relieve stress?
I pray and read my bible and devotionals. I also take walks and love to listen to praise music.
What’s something about you that your students would be surprised to learn?
Something funny about me is how I love to cuddle my cat Willow. I have always loved cats and my students know that because I share that with them, but I think they would love to see how my kitty and I cuddle. My own children tell me they feel like my cat is another sibling of theirs.