Perkins named primary school Teacher of the YearBy NIKKI SMITH,
Each year, Petal School District names a Teacher of the Year at each of the five campuses. Paige Perkins, a second-grade gifted teacher, received the designation for Petal Primary School.
Teachers are nominated by their peers, reviewed by their principals and then are selected for this recognition.
“This humbling honor validates that my fellow educators and administrators recognize what I do day in and day out reaches students by advancing them socially, emotionally, academically and creatively,” she said.
Perkins has taught at Petal School District for three years and has 17 total years of experience teaching in public education.
If one was to ask what she feels is the best aspect of a career as an educator, Perkins would say it is the impact that teachers have on their students.
“The best thing about being a teacher is the sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself and knowing that what you are doing everyday is making a positive impact on future generations,” she said.
With such a lofty goal, Perkins said she is often challenged by the amount of time she has to complete everything.
“Time is the biggest challenge,” she said. “There is never enough time to get everything done.”
However, she intends to keep pushing her students to grow throughout the school year.
“I expect to continue working with my students to facilitate their growth as people and students,” Perkins said. “I expect that we will persevere through the tough times and celebrate during the good times. I pray that we finish the year just as strong as we started.”
Perkins said she made the move to Petal School District in search of challenge and growth.
“Every year I challenge myself to keep growing and learning as a person and as a teacher,” she said. “Often times, that growth involves change. I craved a challenge that I knew the Petal School District would provide me. I have learned from veteran teachers, administrators, and students at Petal Primary School and implemented and innovative new ideas into my classroom.”
While Perkins is certain this is the career path she was meant for, she did not always think so.
“Actually, I never imagined myself being a teacher,” she said. “It just happened and I am so grateful it did. I was sought out by another teacher to become a teacher. I love facilitating learning and helping to mold young minds to become our problem solvers of tomorrow.”
She hopes her impact on her students enables them to achieve that goal.
“I impact my students by encouraging them to be independent thinkers, contributing members of a global society and become lifelong learners,” she said.
Perkins, a Fredericksburg native, has earned both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance and choreography and Master of Education with an emphasis in gifted education.