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.
School district: Republic R-3
School building: Lyon Elementary School
Grade/subject taught: I teach in a special education resource classroom. In the past, I had upper elementary, where I taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders: reading, writing, and math. This year, our building has departmentalized special education, so my focus is now reading, study skills, and socials skills for K-5.
Years in MSTA: 19 years as a teacher and two years as SMSTA
What is one of your goals for this year?
To help my students develop a love of reading, especially when reading is so hard for them. Reading is the key that unlocks so many doors!
Without using the words “teacher” or “educator,” what would your job title be?
What four people, living or dead, would you like to invite to a dinner party?
I would like to invite Tom Hanks (because we have the exact same birthday… just wish I had his money!); Abraham Lincoln – He is my most favorite president of all time!; Jimmy Stewart – I LOVE all of his movies!; Cary Grant – Ditto!
What is something on your bucket list?
I would love to go to Australia, but not too sure of the odds of that happening!
What would be the name of the movie about your life? Who would it star?
“You Only Live Once,” starring Doris Day
What’s your favorite school lunch?
I haven’t had a school lunch in years, but I would have to say that the pizza was really good, back in the day!
What’s the funniest thing a student has ever said to you?
Many years ago, my students and I were practicing a Readers’ Theater about the first Thanksgiving and how Sarah Josepha Hale wrote to President Lincoln to have the third Thursday proclaimed as a day of national thanksgiving. In checking their comprehension, I had the students create a story map, summarizing the story. One of my fourth graders was a great artist and decided to illustrate her story map. Sarah Josepha Hale was born in New Hampshire, but when my student completed her assignment, I noticed that we had a new state… the Great State of NEW HAMSTER! The state was also drawn in the shape of a hamster! That has to be just about the funniest thing that I ever saw and heard!
What advice would you give to your younger self in your first year as an educator?
As much as colleges prepare you for your own classroom, through student teaching and other hands-on learning, nothing really quite prepares you for your own classroom and ALL the responsibilities that go along with it. As a first-year teacher, it is extremely important to make sure that you have a strong support system in place. You are not in this alone. There are many people, who are willing and able to help you, every step of the way. It is so important to ask questions, be flexible, and have fun. Being a teacher is a definite calling… just follow your heart and the rest will come, in time.