Mitzie Wilkerson teaches at John Nowlin Elementary School in the Blue Springs School District.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

“I was inspired to become a teacher after my children were grown. I did not realize teaching was calling me until I earned a bachelor of science in interior design. After a short time as a designer, I realized that I needed to be with kids again, instead of selling really expensive furnishings to people who already had too much of everything. To explore the possibility of teaching, I substituted in the Springfield, Mo., public schools. I was hooked. Kids are interesting, funny and full of possibilities.”

What is most challenging as a teacher? Why?

“The most challenging part of being a teacher is the time required to fulfill professional activities away from the classroom. Time to reflect upon our teaching is too rare.”

What teaching moment is most memorable?

“My most memorable moment in teaching is receiving a wonderful letter this year from a former student, now a college student in Pennsylvania. She has really good memories of our learning partnership in third grade. The letter came at the best possible moment.”

More about Mitzie

EXPERIENCE: Wilkerson has been teaching for 13 years, all in the Blue Springs School District. She actually spent a short time as an interior designer before switching to education. She currently teaches fifth grade.

HOMETOWN: Superior, Neb.


FAMILY: Wilkerson is married with three grown children – a daughter in Conway, Mo.; a son in Anchorage, Alaska, and a daughter in Phoenix, Ariz. She also has three grandchildren and a grand-dog.