By Nancy Green
All 26 years of Regina Weeks’ teaching career have taken place in the same classroom, and at the school in which she did her practice teaching as a student at Mississippi State University.
Regina Weeks, third grade teacher at Middle Elementary School, has been chosen as the Kosciusko School District’s Teacher of the Year. She will enter into competition with teachers from throughout the state for Mississippi’s Teacher of the Year title.
Having no remembrance of any other career choice, she said she was impressed with her teachers and enjoyed playing school mimicking their methods and demeanor. “At that time, I thought I was just playing school, but looking back I realize it was the first step on a journey that would lead to a challenging yet very rewarding and worthwhile career,” she said.
Making her decision as a young adult, she said she came to the realization that while many children lived in less than ideal socioeconomic environments, their lives and futures could be significantly improved through educational opportunities. This idealistic outlook on life led her to know that she wanted to be one of the people who played a role in shaping lives of future generations.
“I believe that the children who enter my classroom today are the future of our communities, states, nation, and the world. As a classroom teacher, I am blessed with a wonderful opportunity to have an impact on the future through my actions today. I want each child that enters my third grade classroom to leave with all the intellectual, academic, social, and emotional strengths necessary to become a productive member of his or her community,” she said.
She named helping each student recognize and reach fullest potential as her primary goal as an educator. Greatest rewards in teaching come from observing each student’s academic growth and personal development throughout the school year as well as succeeding years, she said.
Middle Elementary Principal John-Mark Cain in his recommendation of Mrs. Weeks said she is one of the most productive at the school and her peers respect her with the highest regard, citing her to be a wonderful ambassador for the profession for this state. “She possesses the character, knowledge, intellect, drive and interpersonal skills that make her a great teacher,” said Cain.
Dr. Tony McGee, Superintendent of Kosciusko Schools, said Mrs. Weeks is dedicated to making sure that every minute of her day is used toward growing each child to their maximum potential. “I can truly say that she has the dedication, skills and desire needed to be the teacher of the year for Mississippi,” said McGee.
Her greatest concern as an educator at this time she said, is adequate funding for public education. “While diminishing funding creates stress for all, educators have always overcome difficult situations. I believe the educators of this nation are committed to improving the lives of our students by helping them develop to their fullest potential despite the great obstacle of budget reductions,” she said.
Mrs. Weeks, a native of Hancock County, is a graduate of Pearl River Junior College in Poplarville and Mississippi State University where she received her bachelor’s degree.
She is married to Attala County native Timothy Weeks.
With 26 years in the classroom to her credit, she said she is now teaching children of her former students, and is seeing a number of her students following in her footsteps becoming teachers in Kosciusko schools as well as some in other locations.