FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 2, 2011
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
Educators recognized at Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers ceremony at MUW
COLUMBUS, Miss. - The Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers ceremony at Mississippi University for Women recognized five educators for exemplary dedication. This year’s inductees include Kimberly Correro Fandel, Verniece Goode, Ann Lathrop, Dennis Reed and Suzie Welch.
The teachers were judged on the basis of their professional activities, educational leadership, contributions to curriculum and course development, teaching philosophy and influence on students and other teachers. Involvement in extracurricular activities also was a part of the evaluation.
Correro, a first grade teacher at Carver Elementary in the Tupelo School District, said, “The rewards I have found in teaching are many. I have fun and experience pleasure being with young children. There is absolutely nothing like locking eyes with a student and seeing the `I’ve got it’ expression or a smile cracking across a face as learning all of a sudden happens. I just couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Goode, who teaches English as a second language at Maddox/Station Elementary in the Laurel School District, said, “My teaching style includes creating a comfortable, safe classroom in which students freely respond to questions and discussion in a low risk environment. I believe that relaxed students who are not afraid to take risks can learn more and progress faster.”
Lathrop teaches human anatomy and physiology, biology and environmental science at Bay High in the Bay-Waveland School District. She said, “Teaching is a calling and should never be taken lightly. I teach from bell to bell. When a teacher has 25 teenagers in front of them at 7:30 in the morning, he/she had better make it interesting.”
A physics and chemistry teacher at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, Reed, said, “My success as an educator only shows when my students learn, achieve and move on to advanced programs of study. I feel that as a teacher, real success is when students find the tools to be learners and continue to be learners.”
Welch, a mathematics teacher at Oak Grove High School in the Lamar School District, said, “I believe that my mission is to prepare students to function successfully in the world they are about to enter. I want my students to be strong, confident candidates in life who believe in themselves and their ability to achieve their highest goals. I encourage my students to develop characteristics that will help them be better people and responsible citizens in society.”
The Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers, which now includes 120 members, was established in 1991 to recognize educators for their excellence to teaching. To be eligible, teachers must have at least 15 years of teaching experience, including at least seven years of teaching in Mississippi schools.
It was held in conjunction with the Institute for First-year Teachers, which was initiated in 1993 to advise and encourage beginning teachers.
During the program on Friday, guests and teachers from across the state also heard an inspiring message from Michelle Shearer, 2011 National Teacher of the Year.
She said, “It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher from Mississippi or Maryland. Teaching is about one thing. It’s all about the students.”
The Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Charitable Foundation sponsored both events.