To Overcome Challenges, Build Relationships

in Teacher Moments

Scott Clithero

In his nine years of teaching, Scott Clithero has learned a profound lesson: You have to build relationships with people before they will listen. “I never considered myself a people person,” Scott said. “I was more interested in information itself than in how the information was packaged. I soon realized that before you can teach, Read More

Shannon Waldo, Billings

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Shannon Waldo's 5th and 6th grade band

You might think that after 19 years of teaching, anybody would feel like a classroom veteran. Not Shannon Waldo, who teaches K-12 music in Billing R-IV. “Sometimes I feel like such a newbie,” Shannon said. “I have to remind myself that I’m a veteran teacher.” Shannon’s background in music is deep. She began learning piano Read More

Bethany Prenger, Cole Co. R-V

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Bethany Prenger and student candling egg

A gaggle of freshmen clattered into Bethany Prenger’s agriculture science class on a misty Monday afternoon in Eugene. After a quick rundown of the schedule for the next day’s field trip, the kids got started on the day’s assignment: checking on the eggs they were incubating and expecting to hatch in three days. It was Read More

Casey Hassell, Crawford Co. R-1

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Casey Hassell in front of class

Casey Hassell’s parents always said she should be a teacher. It took a while, but Casey finally agreed. “I was stubborn and thought, ‘No, I want to do this instead,” she said, as she headed to college to earn a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with an emphasis in corporate video. Casey worked in television, Read More

Patrick Hemmingsen, Raymore-Peculiar

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Hemmingsen with girl at computer

We all know someone who has had a passion for his or her chosen career dating back to middle or high school. That’s Patrick Hemmingsen, the science department chair and AP and IB chemistry teacher at Raymore-Peculiar High School. He loved biology as a student, and his AP biology teacher in high school encouraged him Read More

Karen Pace, Salem

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Karen Pace with class.

If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, Karen Pace should be feeling pretty good. Two of her fellow math teachers at Salem High School were her students when they were in school. Karen’s philosophy in the classroom no doubt affected their choice to teach math. “You have to make math interesting so that Read More

Diana Haynes, North Kansas City

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Diana Haynes with students

For generations, people have grown up and joined the family business. In a way, that’s what Diana Haynes did when she chose a career in education. “My dad spent 38 years training teachers at Missouri Western,” says Diana, who is in her 27th year of teaching. “My mom was a school nurse. My grandmother taught Read More

Shelli Lee, Lafayette C-1

in Teacher Moments

Shelli Lee, a preschool teacher in the Lafayette County C-1 school district and a finalist for Missouri Teacher of the Year in 2009, has some advice for other educators involved in early learning: be flexible enough to go with children’s interests from day to day, but also be intentional in directing their learning. “You can Read More

Amy Mailhot, North Kansas City

in Teacher Moments

“There’s no place like home.” Dorothy’s mantra in The Wizard of Oz no doubt rings true for Amy Mailhot. Amy teaches at Lakewood Elementary in North Kansas City – the same school she attended as a child. “It’s surreal,” Amy said. “I can see my parents’ house from the school, just like I could when Read More

Excellent Teachers for All Kids

in Teacher Moments

Every school in Missouri wants to provide students with access to excellent education – the kind of education that will help ensure a successful future in a rewarding career. But some districts in the state face big challenges in attracting and retaining excellent educators to provide that type of instruction. Those districts tend to be Read More