Cole Camp High School teacher, Brittany Latham, was recently selected as the recipient of the Missouri Association of Rural Education’s Outstanding Rural Secondary Educator of the Year. Ms. Latham teaches English at CCHS, and her classes include the following: English 2, Honors English 2, Honors English 4, English 4, Literary Ethics, Creative Writing, and Shakespeare. In her classroom, Ms. Latham has done her best to help students reach district goals as well as goals for meeting state standards. In fact, Miss Latham’s students are among the highest performing students on the district EOCs. Ninety-six percent of her students scored at the advanced/proficient level. These scores are almost seventeen percent above the state average! Ms. Latham also has a computer for every student in her classroom so that she can move toward a paperless classroom. Since her students are members of Google classroom, they are learning valuable skills that they will be able to translate to their college experience. In fact, a 2016 graduate recently thanked Ms. Latham for the skills she taught him in Honors English 4. He reported that taking her class in high school has made his college classes easier.
Ms. Latham is also offering two additional courses in the 2016/17 school year: creative writing and Shakespeare. One of her colleagues stated that ”Hearing students talking outside of Ms. Latham’s classroom about what they are doing and what is coming up is a true sign that they are engaged and excited. How wonderful it is to see students willingly perceiving their writing as a joy and an art rather than as a tedious chore. “ Another kudos to Ms. Latham as a teacher involves her Shakespeare class. Studying the works of Shakespeare can be a challenge for students that some don’t always relish. To see this class with students who are choosing to take Shakespeare as an English elective is an amazing credit to Ms. Latham. How exciting it is that the students want to take this journey with her!
Beyond the classroom, Ms. Latham has been a co-sponsor of individual graduating classes. She has been instrumental in helping each class meet its various goals whether planning a prom or building a float. She also helps her fellow teachers with professional development by participating in the district reading circle and presenting various workshops at the Kaysinger conference professional development day. In addition, Ms. Latham is very active in the local CTA and has served as president and past president. Plus, she is on the MSTA Central District Board and has served as a delegate to the MSTA state convention.
Ms. Latham has also received this recognition because of her support as a colleague. She is a person who is willing to try new ideas or to improve upon old methods. “In working with Ms. Latham,” says the high school counselor, “I have found her professionalism on the job and her concern for her students as something upon which I know I can rely. She always backs up my suggestions for a student with positive action.”
Friday, September 30th, during the homecoming pep assembly, Ms. Latham was honored by the whole school when she was presented flowers and a plaque by principal, Brandon Harding. Mr. Harding said, “We wanted to recognize Ms. Latham in front of the entire school so that we could show how proud we were of her. Her selection by MARE is a great honor; we couldn’t be more pleased for her.”