Rector Teacher Making the Grade
Rector Elementary first grade teacher Lance Mabrey has been recognized as the KAIT Region 8 Teacher of Month for October. Mabrey, a Rector native and 1996 graduate of Clay County Central, is in his 12th year teaching at Rector Elementary School.
"I feel like I've been fortunate to go to school here and then come back and teach here and hopefully make a difference," Mabrey said. "I had great teachers when I went to school and they inspired me. I want to be able to do that for my students."
Mabrey said he learned of his selection via email last Friday. At first, he was unconvinced.
"I was waiting for it to be a joke; you know, a prank email. I kept waiting for someone to go, 'got you,' but it turned out to be real. I was surprised and honored."
Mabrey was nominated by his student, Gavin Barker, and Gavin's mom, Lindsey.
"To have a student and parent go to the effort to say they appreciate you like that is great," Mabrey said. "That kind of support makes you feel good about what you're doing and is part of what makes the Rector community a great place to live in and work."
While Mabrey appreciates the accolade, he's quick to share praise with his fellow teachers.
"As far as teaching, I don't think I do anything different than the other teachers in this building. I haven't done anything that every other teacher I know does. We all want to see our students succeed and do well."
Mabrey says he has enjoyed each class of students during his time at Rector. He notes this year's class of first graders is a pretty special group, though.
"This is a good bunch. They're eager to learn, which makes it easy for me. I don't have a lot of discipline problems. We do our work, but we do it in ways that makes it more interesting and entertaining for them."
Mabrey and his wife, Joann, have two children, four-year-old son Kellon and daughter, Beckett, who is 16-months-old. His parents, Jim and Patricia Mabrey, reside in Rector and are active throughout the community.
In addition to teaching, Mabrey also drives a bus for the school and is the coach and director of the RES peewee basketball program.
Mabrey enjoys spending time with his family and loves "anything to do with sports." He is a devoted fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks and Rector Cougars.