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Putnam County R-I Schools



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Gayla Whitworth: Teacher Spotlight

Help us celebrate Mrs. Gayla Whitworth, our next Teacher Spotlight!

Gayla has been serving the students of Putnam County R-I Elementary for over 22 years! This is Mrs. Whitworth's 25th year in education. She started her journey at Green City, teaching 2nd grade for 3 years. For the past 22 years, Mrs. Whitworth has helped educate students in 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade here at PCR-I. 

We asked Mrs. Whitworth about her journey into education. She told us, "I graduated from Green City R-I in 1989, but spent 1st grade to my Freshman year as a Putnam County Midget. I went to college at NMSU (now known as Truman State University) where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Clothing and Interiors as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Buena Vista. I have always loved school! I can remember loving the smell of the library books. Having Mrs. Judy Sayre as an elementary teacher is another fond memory. I was even lucky enough to do some of my student-teaching with her."

When we inquired about who inspired her to pursue a career in education, Mrs. Whitworth replied, "My sister-in-law, Wendy Tipton (Title I Teacher here at PC)...I actually went to NMSU and earned a degree in Clothing and Interiors. I had hopes of being a retail buyer in a big city until I met a farmer, Mrs. Tipton's brother, from Worthington, MO. There wasn't much need for that career choice in Worthington. Mrs. Tipton would often share stories of teaching and her love for her job which encouraged me to consider teaching as a career. I first started out teaching Head Start and realized that teaching was where I saw my future."

We asked Mrs. Whitworth what she does when she is away from school.  She told us, "I LOVE my family and enjoy spending time with them whether it is going to tractor pulls or checking cows. Spending time junking, going to the movies, and vacationing with my mom and sister is another love of mine. I hate to admit it, but I can easily be a couch potato watching tv if I get a chance. My favorite quote is "Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is your best." I have always tried to instill the character word "perseverance" with my students and have been known to say, "What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger." Fun Fact: Mrs. Whitworth has a "twin sister" named Mrs. Twinkletoes who would make regular visits to the classroom. Mrs. Twinkletoes has been living her best life in retirement over the last few years, but you never know when she might make a surprise appearance. To find out more, you need to ask her former students." 

Some of Mrs. Whitworth's fondest memories so far at PCR-I: "Some of my fondest memories while being at PC have been coaching my sons' ball teams and helping Coach Klingner coach JH girls basketball. Going on the Senior trip with the Class of 2021 was a major highlight! As a classroom teacher, it is fun to see kids in other elements outside of the classroom."

Help us thank and celebrate Mrs. Whitworth! We are #PutnamProud of you and grateful to have you at PCR-I!