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Page credits others for ‘Teacher of the Year’ honor

MADISON – Rebecca Page believes that she wouldn’t be the teacher she is today without the people at Discovery Middle School. Page is the “2023 Teacher of the Year.”

“I have learned what it means to be a great teacher from so many people around me, and, judging by the excellence surrounding me, I still have things to improve on,” Page said.

“I’ve been encouraged, challenged supported and led by so many incredible people. My mentors and friends have taught me, sharpened my skills and helped me grow as a person and teacher,” she said.

Previously, she taught Spanish and English for high-school students in El Paso, Texas and ESL or English as a Second Language for a college in Columbus, Ga. At Discovery for four years, Page teaches Spanish 1 and Spanish Survey A & B to introduce the language. She serves as eighth-grade Team Lead.

“The eighth-grade lead supervises all eighth-grade activities. I oversee organizing committees that create fundraisers and plan field trips, a basketball tournament and a year-end, celebratory Awards Day. This role has taught me about logistics, project planning, management and delegating,” Page said.

When students enter her classroom, Page wants them to feel “at home, welcome, known, encouraged and challenged,” she said. “Building relationships with students and finding common ground is one of the most important things I can do.”

“Teenagers are such interesting people. It’s so fun to see their interests starting to bloom. They love to talk about what interests them,” Page said. “I design lessons that are interactive, engaging and promote collaboration and problem-solving between students. We’re not a quiet classroom.”

Hosted by Discovery, the first annual MCS Spanish Convention was a source of pride for Page. Spanish teacher Johnna Elegante started the event at Bob Jones during COVID years and then approached Page about a convention for both middle and high school. With Spain for its theme, the new event involved students in creating posters, trifolds, performances and visual arts.

‘Convention delegates’ tried a trivia “Culture Bowl,” vocab/verb test and cultural activities. “A day that a teacher dreams of — seeing kids fully engaged, meeting new people and working with others,” Page said.

Page earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Mississippi State University in secondary education/Spanish, along with an ESL certificate. The Madison native graduated from Bob Jones in 2005. She has lived in Alaska; Page and her friends went “aurora chasing at night in sub-zero temps. It was unbelievable,” she said.

She and sons Clark, 9, and Graham, 6, recently adopted a dog, Kit. The boys attend Midtown Elementary School.

At school, she’s not afraid for a fun food day. Page’s class has cooked tamales, empanadas, quesadillas, tacos, churros and raspados.

Her hobbies include reading, hiking, running, tending her garden, playing games and devoting time to her sons, family and friends.

“I’m so thankful about where I am, surrounded daily by the best people and friends I could ask for,” Page said.

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