Chandler Stewart Beasley of Pascagoula has been named the Teacher of the Year for Singing River Academy.
Beasley, a 6th grade Language teacher, has been teaching at SRA for eight years, although the first year there she was an assistant teacher. She taught 5th and 6th grades TST for two years, 6th grade Science for one year, and 6th grade Language for four years
She received a Business Management degree in Tourism Management from the University of Southern Mississippi, and from William Carey University she received a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Special Education and also a Specialist’s Degree in Elementary Education.
Beasley says she was “over the moon excited” by just being nominated for the award and couldn’t believe it when she actually won.
“To me, being named Teacher of the Year is a huge achievement and honor. Even though I only have seven years in education, I feel like I have always been a part of the education world. I work hard each year to incorporate fun and exciting activities in my lessons. When I see how excited students are to learn it makes all of the stressful times worth it,” Beasley said.
Being named Teacher of the Year comes with many benefits, such as being recognized in the school yearbook, Beasley’s picture hangs in the hallway by the office, she will be recognized by the district at their recognition night, and she will also receive money to spend in her classroom.
Beasley comes from a family of educators. Her father, Bill Stewart, was a teacher in Vancleave for many years, he also coached basketball and volleyball, and he was the Transportation Director. Her mother, Anna Stewart, who retired from Trent Lott Middle School after teaching there for 30 years, is now a teacher at Resurrection Catholic Elementary School and is in her 44th year of teaching.
Despite having a family background in teaching, Beasley never wanted to be a teacher. She thought she might one day own a restaurant or be a chef. But then circumstances changed, and since her roots lie in education, it was only natural that she would become a teacher.
She started off as an assistant teacher in a self-contained special education classroom and those students gave her the inspiration she needed to pursue her career. She is still close to those students today and tries to spend as much time with them as possible.
Winning the Teacher of the Year award was all the confirmation that Beasley needed to know she had made the right decision about her career path.
“I am honored to have this opportunity and feel that this award will make me work harder in the future. It is an awesome feeling and brings me so much joy knowing that I have made a name for myself.”
Her favorite part of teaching is making an impact in her students’ lives.
“There have been so many children that have passed through my class who I have been able to help in some way. It might be that they needed a hug, a backpack, advice, or some tough love. But they needed me, and I was there to help them. Even my toughest students have come back to thank me or send me an email saying they miss me. This is why I do it – to make some kind of impact in their life.”
Beasley’s least favorite part about teaching is bringing home the negative aspects of her job. She has three children of her own and says it’s sometimes hard to turn off the “teacher mode” and turn on the “mom mode.”
“Teaching is such a rewarding job and although it’s stressful at times, it gives me the ability to change someone’s life. All of my students hold a special place in my heart.”
She is married to Charlie Beasley and they have three children, Landon, Izabella, and Ezra. She’s very close to her parents and sister, Blaire Stewart, who is also a teacher, and they all play a huge part of her life.
When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going swimming and playing at the park. She also loves to cook and her kitchen is her happy place.