By: Gracie Stains, Contributing Writer
Alexis Willingham is one of the new teachers in the Centralia R-VI School District. She is teaching middle school art classes and various levels of art classes at the high school for her first year of teaching.
Willingham attended William Woods University where she received her Bachelor of Art in Art Education and a minor in photography. She is also working toward her Master’s in Educational Administration degree. She is from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and currently lives in Columbia, Missouri.
Willingham heard about the Centralia R-VI art position when she was a student teacher at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia. Abbey Gorsage, who is a friend of former CHS art teacher Mrs. Rachel Renaud, told Willingham about the open position.
“The small close-knit community is what really attracted my attention to working at Centralia. All the teachers and others in the community are so welcoming and helpful, it makes me feel so much more comfortable and confident as a first-year teacher.”
Willingham chose to become a teacher because she loves being around people. Art was one of her passions and teaching just seemed like the best career choice for her.
Willingham enjoys the opportunity to work with multiple different age groups. On the flip side, she is challenged with adjusting from going from the 90-minute block schedule at the high school to the 50-minute class schedule at the middle school. Because she will eventually have every student in the middle school at some point during the year, she is striving to learn all of her students’ names.
Outside of teaching, Willingham plays on a volleyball team on Tuesday nights. She hopes to get involved in coaching soccer in her community when she has the opportunity.