Wheaton R-3 names Henry as District Teacher of the Year

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2nd-grade teacher sees work as more of a gift than a job

Kathy Henry, a second-grade teacher at Wheaton Elementary School, does not see her teaching position as a job.

Henry's attitude and the quality of her teaching style have helped her win the Wheaton R-3 School District Teacher of the Year award.

The purpose of the award is to recognize the effectiveness and quality of the teachers in the district. Henry was nominated by fellow teachers and other staff members, then chosen by a local committee, assembled by Superintendent Lance Massey.

"Her innovative use of technology with her students and her humble demeanor are part of what makes Kathy such an outstanding educator in my eyes," Massey said. "She is incredibly well-liked by her students and by her coworkers."

Henry says she does not consider working at Wheaton Elementary School a job. She says it's a gift to be able to get up each morning to see her students and help them reach their potential.

"I think one of the most important things I can teach my students is that it's OK to make mistakes," Henry said. "Every day is a new day to improve."

She said she tries to remember that herself.

Massey started the Teacher of the Year program in Wheaton three years ago, and each year, staff members nominate fellow teachers and administrative staff for the awards.

A local committee, hand-picked by Massey, then chooses one teacher who teaches Pre-K through sixth grade, one teacher who teaches seventh grade through 12th grade, and one outstanding, classified employee. This year, Henry, Deanne Carter and Teresa Day won the awards. Carter is a seventh-grade teacher and Day works in the administrative offices for the school district.

Henry was also selected by the committee to represent the district as the District Teacher of the Year.

Being District Teacher of the Year means Henry will represent the Wheaton R-3 School District in the competition for the Missouri Teacher of the Year award. If she wins, Henry will have the responsibility of representing over 70,000 teachers in Missouri when working with state policy makers and others who form public opinion to promote learning in today's classrooms.

Massey said Henry goes above and beyond the criteria necessary to become Missouri Teacher of the Year.

"I am very honored to be District Teacher of the Year, but I'm also somewhat embarrassed," Henry said. "I have so many colleagues that also deserve this award."

Henry has been teaching for 17 years and has been a second-grade teacher at Wheaton Elementary School for two years.

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