MSTA is honored to recognize Bethany Petty as one of 15 members who were named 2022 Regional Teachers of the Year by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Committees comprised of education peers and key stakeholders from each Regional Professional Development Center (RPDC) in Missouri selected the 2022 Regional Teachers of the Year.


About Bethany

School building: Central High School

District: Central R-3

Grade level: 11-12

Subject: Social Studies

Number of years teaching: 13

What makes you eager to start a new semester or new year? One of my favorite things about being a teacher is the role I get to play in my students’ lives and the awesome relationships I am able to forge with them. At the beginning of each school year, I’m always nervous and excited for the opportunity to connect with my students!

What new hobby or activity have you tried lately? Within the last year, I have completely revamped my morning routine. After reading The Miracle Morning early in the 20-21 school year, I now start my mornings with a 2–3-mile run (I push myself to a 5k on Mondays!), gratitude journaling, a page or two of reading, and time in my Bible. I’ve found that getting up earlier and including these activities that I enjoy helps me start my morning in a better way and sets me up for a day of positive productivity!

Looking back, what advice would you give to yourself as a first-year teacher? Take a deep breath! I feel like my jaw was always clenched as a first-year teacher because I was so worried about teaching my content, not necessarily focused on forming relationships with my students. It’s ok to smile and share your personality as a first-year teacher!