“Celebration of Schools” event lets local teachers shine

By Kaleena Ricketts

During the recent “Celebration of Schools” event, held Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Missouri Southern State University, teachers and community members were recognized for their hard work and dedication to our local schools.
Both Miller and Mt. Vernon Schools were well represented, with several staff members being nominated for all of their efforts put towards their students.
Representing the Mt. Vernon School District were elementary school teacher Kim Casey and middle school teacher Kathy Maberry, who were both nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award.
Two teachers were also nominated to represent the district for the “Making Learning Come Alive Award.” This award is given to teachers who use projects that are innovative and engage their students.
Mt.Vernon first grade teacher Ashley Fisher was nominated for her Missouri Veterans Home project, a project where, once a month, students visit the Veterans Home, interact with residents, play games and get to learn more about our country’s history, from those who have served in our military forces. Students are then encouraged to write ‘thank you’ notes to residents, which provides them with opportunity to enhance their writing and reading skills. It also allows the students to obtain social skills that can be beneficial for years to come.
Middle School teacher Maberry was also nominated for her “Creating a Short Story” project. Maberry creates different scenes in her classroom, which she uses as a jumping off point for her students to then write their own short stories. Students are allowed to investigate the scene, then they are asked to write about it. Stories must contain a crime, clues, an investigation, a protagonist, an antagonist and consequences for the guilty party. Students also create story boards which are displayed in the school hallways. Maberry was the recipient of this award.
Mt. Vernon High School FACS teacher, Jeanne Jones was nominated for the Dr. Al Cade Educational Services Award, which is described as an award for a willing servant; those that go above and beyond what is necessary to help each and every individual meet his or her full potential. Superintendent of Miller Schools Dr. Dustin Storm was also nominated for this award for his commitment to the successes of students within his district.
Other Miller teachers and programs were nominated for awards. The “Leader in Me” program that has been implemented at Miller Elementary School was also nominated. Here, students are taught and asked to model multiple habits of highly effective people by giving them responsibilities throughout the building, allowing assemblies to be student led, and giving them binders which they are asked to fill with goals that they hope to achieve. Teachers at the school report a decline in disciplinary issues and also believe there has been an overall change throughout the school that leans more towards an “others focused” mentality, rather than a self-centered perspective. Miller FFA was also nominated for this award.
Longtime Miller FFA advisor Lyle Whittaker took home the award for the Missouri Outstanding Agriculture Teacher of the Year. Also nominated for Teacher of the Year awards were elementary teacher Cathy DeLay and high school teacher Jania Whittaker.
School board members at both districts were nominated for their years of service. Four Mt. Vernon board members were nominated for serving for more than 15 years on the board: Gene Ingle, 37 years; Ron Schmidly, 30 years; John Rutledge 27 years and David Botts, 23 years.
Miller nominated two of their members for their years of service: Chad Hill, 20 years and Cindy Gulick, 15 years.
Local businesses were nominated for the “Friend of Education Award, an award that is given to businesses for their dedication to their local schools, for providing resources for these schools and for showing great support. Hills Body Shop was nominated for its service to the Miller School District, and Blevins Asphalt was nominated for the Mt. Vernon School District.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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