Recipients of the 2018 Unsung Heroes of MSTA Award are chosen by the MSTA field service coordinators. The award recognizes those who have made a substantive yet unrecognized contribution to MSTA and our mission to advocate for and empower public educators so they can teach. These recipients are admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

Some factors of consideration for selecting these individuals may include:
• Individual leadership style
• Understanding of MSTA’s mission
• Actions which reflect MSTA’s mission
• Commitment and follow through to the leadership role and CTA
• Service beyond the CTA to children, their school district, the community, or MSTA.
• Interpersonal and communication skills.
• Creative thinking and problem solving.
• Ability to handle crisis or extreme circumstances in their role as CTA leader.

Dennis Preston

School district: Waynesville R-6

School building: Waynesville Middle School

Grade/subject taught: Science 7

Years in MSTA: 20 years

What is one of your goals for this year:

Help streamline our department to make teaching for my department members easier and less stressful!

Without using the words “teacher” or “educator,” what would your job title be?

Life coach

What four people, living or dead, would you like to invite to a dinner party?

Teddy Roosevelt, Josephine Baker, John F. Kennedy, Alexander Hamilton

What is something on your bucket list?

To canoe or kayak down the river during/after a snow

What would be the name of the movie about your life? Who would it star?

“Up, Down and All Around”–  starring Zach Galifianakis

What’s your favorite school lunch?

Turkey melts!

What’s the funniest thing a student has ever said to you?

“Your fly is unzipped!”

What advice would you give to your younger self in your first year as an educator?

“Take notes, be flexible, contact parents, love on kids!”


Central Methodist University