Page 18 - summer08

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18 Summer 2008
The award is given annually to one individual who has shown
outstanding dedication, passion and support to their school
district. Wilbeck’s nomination was made by Kristi Varner,
language arts instructor, and supported by two additional
recommendations.
Varner commented, “At Brookfeld, we believe in the team
concept; no one believes in this more than Melinda Wilbeck.“
Wilbeck is quick to credit her colleagues, saying, “This is a team
award. I am surrounded by outstanding people, and this award
is a refection of the group as a whole.”
She has a long history with the Brookfeld R-III School District. Born
and raised in the community, she graduated from Brookfeld High
School in 1988. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary
education and physical education from William Woods in 1993.
She completed an M.Ed. in administration at Northwest Missouri
State University and in 2005 earned her specialist in education
degree from WWU.
She was eager to return home after earning her undergraduate
degree. “Brookfeld is special to me for two reasons; one,
because my family is here. I couldn’t be successful at my job
without the support of my husband, parents and extended family.
Second, I wanted to be a part of the district that gave me so much
as a child.”
Her husband, Lee, is a science teacher at Brookfeld High School,
and they have two daughters: Sydney, 7, and Maddie, 2.
Wilbeck speaks highly of her experience at William Woods
University. “The graduate program is great,” she said. “I have a
coaching background and understand the benefts of working with
teammates. The graduate courses are structured to promote group
activity. Learning is about relationships and communication, and
the classes incorporated quality conversation and collaboration.”
She has spent the past 14 years in Brookfeld as a teacher and
coach and is currently the principal for grades six through eight.
She added, “The experiences and knowledge I gained from
WWU have helped me immensely to be successful in this position.
If I had to do it again, I would choose William Woods for both the
undergraduate and graduate programs. I thank all those at WWU
who touched my life and who helped me get where I am today.”
WWU Grad Named Exemplary New Principal
by Mary Ann Beahon
TimM. Thompson earned hisM.Ed. from TheWoods in 2005 and is the
principal at Scott County Central Elementary School. The recipient
of the 2008 Exemplary New Principal Award for Southeast Missouri
fromMAESP (Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals), he
attributes much of his success to his WWU education.
“It opened an entirely new pathway for me and gave me a fresh
look at education. It also made me reassess my philosophy on
education and gain new tools to pass on to the teachers that work
with and for me.”
He noted, “My education at WWU gave me solid, practical
knowledge, and the confdence to do the job. I felt
prepared
to do
this job when I fnished my degree. I believe that my education at
WWU opened a new facet of my personality and abilities. After
completing my M.Ed., I had a better view of the ‘big picture’ in
educational administration.”
Thompson was 39 and teaching high school theatre and speech
when he returned to school.
“I went back to try and increase my earning ability, as I have
two children who need braces, cars, college…you name it! I
chose WWU because WWU came to me. The convenience and
accessibility of the program made all the difference for me
and
my family.”
He added, “I liked the consistent Wednesday class schedule and
the cohort mentality. I also liked that the instructors were practicing
educators who had ‘been there’ before us and had loads of wisdom
and practical approaches to share.”
At Scott County Central Elementary School, Thompson oversees
approximately 45 employees, is in charge of food service, takes
care of building maintenance, and supervises all girl sports in
the K-12 system.
“As an elementary principal, I see education through fresh eyes.
I feel that this was what I was meant to undertake. I have a
wonderful staff, and the students are ‘mine’...they like their big
hulking principal!”
A perfect example of
someone who balanced
work, family and education
while attending WWU,
Thompson was teaching
high school and college
classes, directing two
theatre productions every
semester, and working
weekends at an area hospital to help pay for his master’s degree—
as well as being a husband and father.
Thompson plans to stay in education and will begin the educational
specialist’s program at The Woods in the fall.
“Some folks seek careers. Others seek jobs. This vocation sought
me. From my freshman year of high school, I knew that I wanted to
be in education.”