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2023 Locals Love Us Favorite School Teacher: Monica McCollum

R.J. Richey Elementary School language arts and social studies teacher Monica McCollum. Staff photo

Monica McCollum has 25 years' experience teaching, the past six as a fifth-grade language arts and social studies teacher at R.J. Richey Elementary School in Burnet. She was voted a 2023 Locals Love Us Favorite Teacher by The Picayune Magazine readers and KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune listeners.

“I really thought the (school) secretary was messing with me when she told me,” McCollum said about hearing she won. “I feel like teaching is a mission for me. It’s my mission field. I don’t do it for recognition, so, yeah, I was kind of surprised.”

McCollum began her career in Arkansas, where she taught for 10 years. She then moved to Georgetown, where she taught for about another 10 years, the last three spent commuting from Fairland between Marble Falls and Burnet. She moved to the Highland Lakes to be closer to her parents, who have lived in the area for 40 years.

Getting a job at R.J. Richey was a gift, she said, not just because it was closer but because of the community and the children.

“I absolutely love it,” she said. “Watching the kids grow, just watching them grow socially, emotionally, academically — that’s my biggest thing.”

Education is not always about grades, she continued.

“Grades come easy for some but not for others,” she said. “We need to look and see how they are growing, not just academically but socially and emotionally, so they can be productive when they get out in society and on their own.”

Flip through the digital 2023 Locals Love Us magazine for a full list of winners.

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