Gold STAR Teacher of the Year Award Neosho R-5 School District


The Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Gold STAR Teacher of the Year Award. The awards were presented at the Neosho R-5 School District Reception on Thursday, May 22nd to Carol Mailes, Lea Ann Findley, John Henderson and Kathy Fausett.

Carol Mailes is a 4th Grade Teacher at George Washington Carver Elementary School, Lea Ann Findley is a Special Education Teacher at Central elementary School, John Henderson is a 6th Grade teacher at Neosho Middle School, and Kathy Fausett is a Math Teacher at Neosho High School. All four received nomination letters from colleagues, parents and students and are greatly respected for their dedication to what they do and for their ability to motivate those around them.

In nomination letters for Carol Mailes, From the parent of her student “I feel you will not find a teacher with more integrity or professionalism.”From her colleagues “Carol shows dedication to her students, colleagues, and school everyday. She is always one of the first teachers at the school in the morning and always one of the last to leave. She is so passionate about making her students successful academically as well as molding them into well rounded citizens. I have been so blessed to have Carol as a mentor and can’t begin to tell you how much she has taught me about teaching and life.” Another colleague wrote “Carol exemplifies all the character qualities of an amazing Godly woman and a person of Great Integrity!” Chelsea Cason, a fellow teacher presented Mrs. Mailes with the award and shared a poem written by Carver Principal, Satotha Burr.

Mindy Bartley presented the Teacher of the Year Award to Lea Ann Findley. She stated “Children have felt nurtured, confident and safe which have allowed them to take risks without fear of being ridiculed. When they fall, she picks them up, dusts them off and guides them down another path all the while learning from their mistakes. This environment has inspired her students to reach new heights. Her passion and dedication to her students goes far beyond the classroom and reaches well past their elementary years.” A former student wrote “Any child that has the privilege to be one of her students will not know at the time, but she is saving their life!”

John Henderson has been a teacher for 10 years in the Neosho School District. The stack of nominations received by the education committee was large all singing the praises of an outstanding teacher that has the ability to build relationships with students, other teachers and administrators. Colleagues say he is “the greatest teacher of teachers” “he truly shows how much he cares for the success of all students on a daily basis.” A student said “he makes learning fun and exciting…he makes math fun and easy to understand.” Principal Doretta Fox presented the award to Mr. Henderson.

Kathy Fausett was presented the Teacher of the Year Award for the Neosho High School by her close friend Rosetta Peoples. A parent wrote “Kathy has consistently showed true care and passion for teaching, Kathy has persevered the challenges she’s faced personally and is 100% dedicated to her students.” A former student wrote, “This teacher comes to class with a positive attitude no matter what.”

The Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee is proud to present these awards every year in recognition of superior teaching achievement and unselfish service to the students of our area.

For more information, please contact the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce at 451-1925 or

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