Redwood’s Wilkerson making a difference

Published 8:08 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Part of an ongoing series featuring the teachers nominated for Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Year honors.

Kathy Wilkerson didn’t find her career in the insurance business rewarding and decided she wanted to do something more in her life and affect the lives of others.

“I actually worked in the insurance business for several years, but just felt like something was missing in my life,” Wilkerson said. “I always had a love for children and decided to become a teacher. I wanted to make a difference in a child’s life.”

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She’s been making a difference for the past 19 years now.

Wilkerson, a nominee for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Elementary Teacher of the Year, is a fourth-grade teacher at Redwood Elementary School.

Wilkerson, an elementary education graduate of Mississippi College, enjoys knowing when she makes a connection with students and getting to know them.

“I truly believe that we have to build relationships with our students in order to help them find success,” Wilkerson said. “Teaching is more than just standing in front of a classroom. My students need to trust me and know that I care about them.”

An example of how much she is impacting students involves a young man Wilkerson said had moved around quite a bit and was repeating the fourth grade.

“He was reading a on a low second grade level and could barely add and subtract,” Wilkerson said. “He was also a very troubled child with numerous behavior issues. Needless to say, it was not always easy to teach him. However, with hard work and patience, this young man was reading on a low fourth grade level by the end of the year. He also was not only able to add and subtract, but could also multiply and divide large numbers. His state test scores improved from the previous year as well. He would still come by and see me each year and thank me for being so patient with him and helping him to learn.”

Wilkerson is extremely honored being chosen Teacher of the Year at Redwood Elementary School by her peers. She began her teaching career in 2001 at Warrenton Elementary and has been at Redwood since 2010.

“It (Teacher of the Year) reaffirms that I am where God wants me to be,” Wilkerson said.

The Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce will choose one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon Feb. 20. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.

Whether she is chosen as the chamber Teacher of the Year or not, Wilkerson said she will “continue to strive every day to be better than I was the day before.”