At an age when some children might avoid math and science, Phyllis Skipper embraced those subjects when her interest was piqued in the fourth grade.
Skipper's love of math and science led to a long career as a teacher.
“I've been in education all my life," said Skipper, who has been teaching since 1970.
Skipper was rewarded for her efforts when she was honored by the U.S. Air Force Association Thursday at Lamar School, where she's taught for 32 years.
The group recognizes a teacher each year for their work in science, engineering, technology, and math.
Langford Knight, with the local chapter of the association, said the event is typically larger, but was changed because of COVID-19 restrictions. U.S. Congressman Michael Guest, who represents the 3rd District of Mississippi, was on hand to present the award.
Skipper was appreciative of the honor, because her father was a master machinist during World War II.
“I grew up making things and going to hardware stores, building things with him and watching him in his workshop,” she said. “I have always been interested in STEM activities and making things with your hands.”
Skipper said the award represents the entire school.
“It's not just me, because we have a junior high and elementary school,” she said. “I'm a representative of these other teachers doing their part to try to prepare our children for the future.”
A desire to help her students succeed has kept her teaching for so long, she emphasized.
“It gives me a reason to get up in the morning because the children are so inspirational and it is a lot of fun,” she said. “I look forward to Mondays.”