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.

Disa Rice

School district: Platte County R-3

School building: Compass Elementary

Grade/subject taught: 3rd…so every subject.

Years in MSTA: 23

What is one of your goals for this year?

Keep smiling – and guide every student to learn what they can to the best of their abilities

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

professional miracle worker or maybe “sherpa” since the later is an expert who guides groups up mountains under extreme conditions.

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

Anne Frank, Oprah, Princess Dianna, and Abraham Lincoln

What is something on your bucket list?

solve the Rubik’s Cube, travel through Japan, and retirement (I have checked 2/3 of these off my list already)

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

“Silence of the Lambs” (A movie about me trying to keep the majority of my elementary class engaged in learning and calm while I teach in small guided groups all day.) Jodie Foster would play me, Anthony Hopkins would certainly make a cameo as a school administrator.

What’s your favorite school lunch?

Tony’s Pizza (slightly burnt)… salad on the side

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

Mrs. Rice, today you remind me of my dad when he shaved his mustache. (I ask why) My dad didn’t look like my dad without his mustache, and you don’t look like my teacher without lipstick on.

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

Be open-minded and willing to learn. And even more importantly: Find a reason to like Mondays.