Magnolia Middle School math teacher Rhonda Burrage has not missed a day of teaching in four years. As the math department chair, Burrage has the reputation of being able to reach even the toughest students and get them to succeed in a school that has some significant challenges.
During her computer-based 8th grade algebra classes, Burrage regularly immerses her kids in educational websites, and brings them together into small groups or one-on-one clusters so that they can better grasp concepts. Former students often place in advanced math classes upon reaching the high school level; three students even participated in a community college math competition, in which they finished second place.
Overall, Burrage's algebra students received an A rating on the state test in 2013-2014, and Burrage leads the district for Algebra I scores. In the state report, 78% of her students were deemed proficient, compared with only 63% of students throughout Mississippi.
Burrage fills various leadership roles at the school and the district. She's a teacher mentor for first-year teachers, is on the school leadership team, and chairs the BETA club, where she coordinates community service projects. She spends her “free” time tutoring students enrolled in the city and county schools. She lives as if her motto is “Whatever I know, I’ll share it with you.”
In her district, Burrage has also developed lesson plans, modeled instructional implementations for other teachers, and taught school and district colleagues how to use Chromebooks. Burrage provides regular input regarding disciplinary policies for the Meridian Public School District and sits on the superintendent's council.
Above all, what inspires Rhonda Burrage to do more is her dedication to her students, whose lives she positively molds. She is an exceptional educator who exudes passion, love and dedication to educating students. Student behavior has improved because of the standards and expectations she has set and requires.
Burrage received a Bachelor of Science in Math Education from Mississippi State University, Starkville, in 2003 and a master’s in Secondary Math from the same institution in 2010.
WGBC-TV | Fox | Jan 21 , 2016 | Meridian, MS
WJTV-TV | CBS | Jan 20 , 2016 | Jackson, MS
WTOK-TV | ABC | Jan 20 , 2016 | Meridian, MS
The Clarion-Ledger | Jan 20 , 2016 | Jackson, MS
San Francisco Chronicle | Via Associated Press | Jan 20 , 2016 | San Francisco, CA