By: Suzee Crabtree, contributing writer
Dr. Matt Smith, Centralia High School (CHS) principal, awarded the December Arrangement of the Month to Miss Alexis Willingham, CHS art teacher. Dr. Smith appreciates her involvement in the school and for inspiring art students.
“Miss Willingham, over the past year, has grown tremendously from a first year teacher to a member of our staff that is involved in a great many activities and leadership roles in our school,” Dr. Smith said.
Willingham teaches art classes at both CHS and Chester Boren Middle School (CBMS). This is her second year in the district. Before coming to CHS, she completed her student teaching at Rock Bridge High School.
Willingham has adapted well to Centralia, and it is noticeable to the district. “Students love her classes, evidenced by the fact that we have many students wanting to get involved in the art program,” Dr. Smith said.
Willingham is involved in art events such as Deck the Halls, which is an art display and auction. She is also the assistant sponsor for student council, and participates with the school’s “Travel Abroad” program. This program includes her leadership in traveling with students to Europe in 2022 and Peru in 2023.
Getting to know the students at CHS is something Willingham enjoys. “I love that I get to work with so many people that are so completely different. They have different passions, different backgrounds, different skills and so much more,” Willingham said.
Wilingham adores the creativity that art gives students. She enjoys hearing about the ideas students come up with, as well as the deeper meanings behind their artwork. “I love that I get to learn from my students everyday just as much as they learn from me,” Willingham said.
Willingam graduated from Waynesville High School. She attended William Woods University for Art Education. Currently, she is getting her Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and is expected to graduate in April of 2022.