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.

Nicole Nowlin

School district: Lee’s Summit R-7

School building: Underwood Elementary School

Grade/subject taught: 6th Grade

Years in MSTA: 7


What is one of your goals for this year?

To become Google Certified at levels 1 and 2

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

Supporter of students

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

My mom, my sisters-in-law Livia and Anna and my cousin Missy. Family is important to me and conversation with each other is something I think we should cherish more.

What is something on your bucket list?

Take a culinary class.

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

I’m not sure of the name, but it would definitely be a Hallmark Christmas movie type of movie and Reese Witherspoon would play me.

What’s your favorite school lunch?

When I order in Chipotle!

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

Don’t spend so much time getting caught up in advice from other teachers.  You became a teacher because of your passion and heart, listen to them both and they will guide you to do what’s right for your students.