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Missouri Association of Rural Education



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Outstanding Rural Elementary Teacher

Mendy Bridgewater, Rich Hill - R-IV

Mendy Bridgewater is a self-motivated, hardworking and thoughtful teacher.Now in her fifteenth year as a valued member of the Rich Hill Elementary faculty, Mendy works tirelessly for her third grade students, with an outstanding exceptional ability of being able to differentiate and provide explanation to all those students.Mrs. Bridgewater has a quiet, often unnoticed strength and perseverance that is most evident in her safe, well-organized classroom.

Mrs. Bridgewater’s greatest strength lies in her total commitment to student success.She will do whatever is necessary to make her young men and women successful in and out of the classroom and in life.Mendy is often overheard saying that, “All my students can learn, I just have to find out how.”

Mrs. Bridgewater has shown great concern for her students.Several years ago, before the current fruit snack program, Mendy was so concerned that elementary students were going hungry, that in collaboration with the other elementary teachers was able to provide healthy snacks.For those students who regularly went without, Mendy not only provided a snack, but also the compassion and concern that helped address a physical need so that learning could take place.

Mendy is highly respected by her peers.She is a team player who collaborates with the teachers both above and below her grade level.She can be found giving as well as seeking ideas to make herself better in the interest of her students.Mendy is also a proven leader in the school and serves on the Teacher Advisory Council.

In Mendy’s spare time, she can be found helping to organize the local little league football teams as well as being involved in her church activities.In addition, Mendy is a dedicated mother of four along with caring for her elderly grandmother.

Mrs. Bridgewater greatly impacts her students’ lives.From textbook work, to planting seeds, to quiet reading time, Mendy motivates her students to achieve more.A true role model, and one that recognizes that teaching is NOT just a job, sets her apart and makes it appropriate that we congratulate Mendy Bridgewater as Missouri’s Outstanding Rural Elementary Teacher for 2014.