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Putnam County R-I Schools



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Where Are They Now.

Week seven.

Three Putnam County graduates who received a $500 alumni scholarship are featured this week:  Sara Thompson, Brett Thomas and Derek Tribble.

Sara Thompson, a 2010 graduate of Putnam County R-I and 2013 scholarship recipient, has returned to the classroom., this time as a teacher.  Sara is beginning her first year teaching 7-12 grade art at Milan C-2 schools.  She was inspired by Tonja Partridge, her high school art teacher.  Sara says, “While at PC I knew I wanted to be an art teacher because of my great teacher Mrs. Partridge.”

Sara obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Northwest Missouri State University in May, 2015 and holds a teaching certificate for K-12 art.  She worked her way through college at the food service provider Aramark.  Sara earned a management position with the company and stayed in Maryville to work for them one year after her college graduation.

Sara and her fiancé Nick Christian, are the parents of a daughter Bailey Grace, born this May.  She and Nick met in college and he is from Maitland, Missouri.  They have moved back to Putnam County and Sara enjoys being close to family and friends.

Brett Thomas, class of 2012, graduated in May from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science.  His dream is to become a doctor and is currently applying to medical schools.   While at MU, Brett became involved with the Make a Wish Foundation.    He says, “It was really eye opening to see the difference a little hope can make, and I always encourage people to look into volunteering with Make A Wish because the small amount of time invested results in life changing experiences for these children.”

As with many of the alumni scholarship winners, Brett took advantage of dual credit classes while in high school, stating those “allowed me time to become involved in some life-changing organizations in college.”

Currently Brett is living in Phoenix, Arizona, near his family.  Brett stated he “enjoys the diverse Arizona environment and having the ability to drive a few hours to mountains or enjoy the sunshine of the valley.  However, I do miss the changing of tree leaves and all the green back home.”  Brett enjoys hiking and outdoor activities.  He recently purchased a piano and is learning to play.

Derek Tribble, PC Class of 2012, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in December, 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness Management.  Immediately after graduation he started full-time employment with MFA, Inc., an opportunity which arose after Derek’s internship with the company.  His job duties include processing loan applications for long term financing, balancing multiple general accounts for MFA's subsidiary Agmo, as well as managing the accounts receivable for the wholesale side of the company.  He attributes some of his success to the education he received at Putnam County.  Derek says, “I am thankful to the people who stood beside me and pushed me to work a little harder in high school to achieve goals beyond my sight.  Because of them I have the skills to be successful in the business world while enjoying the job I do.”

When Derek arrived at college he says, “There were thousands of students from different backgrounds that I got to meet.  However, the people I developed the best relationships with were the ones who grew up in rural communities.  We would compare the sizes of our graduating classes and the distance to our closest Walmart.”

Derek lives in Columbia with friends from college, stating “I thoroughly enjoy the options for things to do that Columbia provides.  Although I enjoy Columbia, I miss living on the farm in a rural community every now and then.  When I miss the farm too much I take time to return home and see the cattle.”  In his free time Derek enjoys playing golf and woodworking.