As the school year comes to a close, MBU celebrates seven local alumni educators who were named teachers of the year for 2018–19.
One of them is Katherine Stevey ’08, who teaches sixth grade science at Kate Collins Middle School. She received both the building-level and system-wide teacher of the year award for Waynesboro City Schools.
Looking back to when she started college at age 32, Stevey remembered feeling overwhelmed by all of the things she did not know. She had struggled in school when she was younger, and did not feel confident at the beginning of her journey toward a college degree.
“The thing that Mary Baldwin gave me that helped me to be successful in the classroom was teachers who cared about me as an individual,” Stevey said.
Now in her own classroom, Stevey is dedicated to giving that same kind of personalized attention to her students.
“I look at every student as a unique individual, and aspire to help them all learn the content that I teach no matter their background or level of understanding coming into my classroom,” she said. “I want students to know that they are moving toward their best future self.”
Courtney Chapman ’93, a third grade teacher at McSwain Elementary who won the school’s teacher of the year award this year, said that her experiences at MBU carried valuable lessons that helped shape the foundation of her teaching philosophy. She also emphasized relationship building with her students, just like Stevey.
“My advice to future teachers … make it a priority to connect with your students on a daily basis,” Chapman said. “Positive relationships are vital and stay with us for the rest of our lives.”
Kendra Thompson, a first grade teacher who won teacher of the year at Wilson Elementary School agrees.
“Teaching is rewarding when you see the progress students have made once you have set the bar high for them,” she said.
Heather Campbell ’14, third grade teacher and awardee at Bessie Weller Elementary, loves being an educator because she gets to be a part of all aspects of children’s learning, from academic to behavioral and emotional, she said. Campbell still uses strategies and tools from her courses at MBU in her own classroom.
“Mary Baldwin set me up for the classroom by providing me with meaningful modern strategies, such as project based, technology, classroom management, and relationship building,” Campbell said.
“My advice to future teachers … make it a priority to connect with your students on a daily basis.”
Courtney Chapman ’93
Congratulations to all MBU alumni who were named teachers of the year for 2018-19:
- Amanda Beverage ’02, fifth grade teacher, Craigsville Elementary
- Heather Campbell ’14, third grade teacher, Bessie Weller Elementary
- Courtney Chapman ’93, third grade teacher, McSwain Elementary
- Sarah Davis ’96, intervention specialist, Churchville Elementary
- Katherine Klus ’99, math teacher, Triplett Tech/Massanutten Regional Governor’s School
- Katherine Stevey ’08, sixth grade science, Kate Collins Middle School
- Kendra Thompson ’10, PBTL ’11, first grade teacher, Wilson Elementary