Starkville High School history teacher Janna Paes is one of four finalists for Mississippi Teacher of the Year. She was named Starkville Oktibbeha School District Teacher of the Year in October.
"It is such an honor to be nominated and chosen as Teacher of the Year in a district with so many outstanding educators," said Paes.
Ms. Paes has spent 10 years of her 13 year teaching career in the Starkville Oktibbeha School District.
Superintendent Eddie Peasant praised Paes for her commitment to excellence that extends beyond mastering standards.
"It is evident when you enter Ms. Paes' classroom that she knows her students as much as she knows her content area," said Peasant. "She is a student of her students which allows her to build an environment in her classroom that supports high-level learning."
"My hope as a teacher is to help inspire a major shift in secondary education in the direction of building strong relationships with all students as the foundation of all learning," said Paes. "As a high school teacher, I strongly believe lecturing is not the only way to teach secondary students, even in state tested subjects with fast pacing requirements. I choose to engage and involve my high school students with lessons that require critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication to apply what they learn with real world experience. Ultimately, I want students to leave my classroom better prepared for the future and their next step forward."
Ms. Paes is remembered for her impact and her influence in the lives of her students even after they leave her classroom.
"Ms. Paes embodies what teachers should be: kind, caring scholars who serve as researchers, mentors, teachers and guides for student the on the often confusing road through the academic journey," said Grace May, who along with her brother, were students in Ms. Paes history class in middle school and high school.
Ms. Paes will be recognized for her teaching excellence during an awards luncheon hosted by the Mississippi Department of Education honoring Mississippi's four finalists for Teacher of the Year.