(Cabool, MO) – Vicki Stewart received the Distinguished Retiree Award for Wright County from the Missouri Retired Teachers Association at their Region 10 Fall Conference Annual Meeting in Cabool, MO on Friday, October 19, 2018.
As a young child, she adored school and her teachers at Manes R5 School, a small 1-8 grade rural school. She later attended Hartville High School, graduating in 1971. She attended School of the Ozarks (now College of the Ozarks) at Branson for a year, then married and had children.
When her youngest child began kindergarten, Stewart went back to college and got her degree in Elementary Education from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) in Springfield. She then returned to Manes School, this time as a Remedial Reading teacher. After three years, she seized an opportunity to teach Special Needs Children at Hartville Elementary.
“I loved teaching Special Needs Children and being their advocate when issues between them and other students and teachers arose,” she wrote in her nomination application, “I never saw a difference in them …only that they learned differently and at a slower pace.”
She had found her calling. Stewart taught at Hartville Elementary for 23 years before retiring five years ago. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Education, and a Master’s in Education from William Woods University, along with several special certifications for reading and working with special populations.
Stewart is enjoying retirement with her husband, Jim, has three children, Jennifer, Jason, and Diana, and five grandchildren. She is proud that all of her children finished college.