Avila Now

April 26, 2023

Avila Graduates Awarded MACTE Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award

Mooneyham with her class on a rooftop with the KC skyline in the background
Ms. Katie Mooneyham with her 5th grade class on a field trip

Avila School of Education graduates, Katie Mooneyham and Brooke Wells were awarded the MACTE Outstanding Beginning Teacher award. “We know that Brooke and Katie are making impacts at their schools in Districts not too far from Avila—in Blue Springs and Raytown. We have so many students who graduate from Avila and teach in Missouri districts less than 20 miles from Avila,” said Natalie Cobb, Ph.D., chair of the school of education.

MACTE is the Missouri Association of Colleges of Teacher Education—the Missouri chapter of AACTE the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. The Outstanding Beginning Teacher award is a long-standing tradition with MACTE. The awards are given every other year, and each MACTE member institution may nominate up to 2 first or second-year teachers for this award as part of the selection process. 

Brooke Wells teaches 5th grade at Spring Valley Elementary in the Raytown School District. “Brooke is extremely good at a depth of knowledge of the content and creating engaging lessons that address this knowledge. She puts in effort to build relationships with students and create a positive classroom atmosphere. She facilitates an environment that supports student self-monitoring to maximize instructional time and student learning. She represents the teaching profession in a responsible and ethical manner,” said Mary Jane Pearson, Ph.D., executive director of online program development and support.

Katie Mooneyham teaches 5th grade at John Nowlin Elementary in the Blue Springs School District, where she attended elementary school. “It means so much to me to receive this award. Education can be very hard at times, so recognition is such an honor! I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to spend 4 years preparing at Avila,” said Mooneyham. 

Mooneyham loves seeing how much her students grow. “Seeing the “light bulb” or “aha” moment is so rewarding as a teacher!” She also loves hearing from former students. “I love to stay in touch with them and continue the strong relationship that we built in 5th grade.”

“Avila prepared me tremendously. Two things that stand out to me are the small class sizes and the caring professors. Dr. McCalley is a gem that I am still in contact with to this day. Avila is filled with professors that genuinely care about you and want to see you do your best in life,” said Mooneyham. 

Ms. Katie Mooneyham with her 5th grade class
Ms. Katie Mooneyham with her 5th grade class
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