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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Local teacher will be honored Friday

Monday, March 14, 2005

Shirley Hall goes overn an American history lesson with her students.
EAST PRAIRIE - Shirley Hall of East Prairie is one of three teachers slated to be honored Friday for Meritous Service to Education by the Missouri State Teachers Association.

Hall, along with John Poston of the North St. Francois County R-1 School District and Regina Corbin Rainey of Zalma R-5 Schools, will be honored during the M.S.T.A. Southeast Region's Recognition Luncheon scheduled for 11 a.m. in the University Center Ballroom on the Southeast Missouri State University campus in Cape Girardeau.

"I'm overwhelmed - I'm very grateful," Hall said. "There is that cliché that 'no man is an island.' Well, no one is successful by themselves - the staff here are great to work with."

A graduate of the East Prairie R-2 School District, becoming a teacher was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Hall. "That's just what I've always wanted to do - and I love working with children," she said.

Hall said education was always very important to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James C. Hogue of East Prairie. While they never attended college, they made sure Hall did. "There was never a question," she said.

Hall graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and began teaching at her alma mater in 1973. In 1975, she earned her reading specialist master's degree.

Teaching has changed a lot over the years, Hall said. For example, teaching today is not as textbook-based as it once was. "There's a lot more technology," Hall said. She recalled taking night classes to stay current and learn about technology-based classroom teaching.

Different techniques are needed to keep the attention of today's students, according to Hall.

"They're used to entertainment 24/7," she said. "I think a teacher has to be more of a performer to keep children's interest." Hall said, however, that things are more fun for both teachers and students today.

"She goes above and beyond when it comes to meeting children's needs," said Karen Hitchcock, who teaches gifted student classes at Martin Elementary.

Hall said when she hears a student say they want to be a teacher someday, she knows they are enjoying themselves in school as much as she is. "And we need good young teachers," she said.

"She pushes you to be a good teacher," said Laura Moore, who teaches fifth grade at Martin Elementary. "She's a very good role model for the teaching profession."

Hall took a break from education from 1976-1983 to stay home and raise her son although she stayed busy teaching Sunday school and vacation Bible school classes at her church and serving as a Boy Scout leader.

Presently teaching fifth grade at Martin Elementary in East Prairie, Hall has a total of 24 years teaching.

Since returning to public education, she has served as the district's MSIP coordinator, which is related to the school's accredation evaluation process.

An active member of the CTA and MSTA, Hall was on the district's MAP team and is presently serving with a team of five people across the state on the state's model curriculum writing team for math.

Hall also recently took on the duties of coordinating the K-12 curriculum after serving as the K-6 curriculum coordinator for the past 10 years.

She is also an E-Mints teacher, tutors students, directs PTO fund-raisers, attends PDC meetings, mentors new teachers, and leads data analysis and reading strategy workshops. "I wear a lot of hats," Hall said. "I enjoy challenge."