Receiving a teaching award is gratifying, especially early in your career.
Missouri State University alum Brett Gilio began teaching on a provisional teaching license while simultaneously completing a master’s program in teaching.
During his second year of teaching, Gilio was awarded the 2023 Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award by the Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE). He received the award as part of the MACTE conference in Columbia, Missouri March 2-3.
“I feel deeply appreciative, as this award shows that people recognize the work I put into my students and the field of education,” Gilio said. “I’m deeply driven and always seeking to innovate and make the learning process meaningful and exciting.”
Journey to teaching
From Grain Valley, Missouri, Gilio spent his undergraduate time studying biology and chemistry, working both as a laboratory assistant for a research institute and in adolescent mental health.
This prompted his switch to education, joining the MSU Master of Arts in Teaching program, where he specialized in science education.
Now, he teaches general biology and earth science at William Chrisman High School in Independence, Missouri.
“My favorite thing about being a science educator is the freedom that it gives me to introduce real world and contemporary issues in the science classroom,” Gilio said. “This includes skills like design, engineering, inquiry and problem-solving that students can then use in any other discipline for the rest of their lives.
“Science is always relevant.”
Gilio will always remember those who helped him along the way.
“While at MSU, I was deeply connected with many fabulous educators who have supported me and cheered me on, such as Melanie Carden-Jessen, Dr. Julia Novakowski and Dr. Jamie Atkinson,” Gilio said. “I model my teaching style after these individuals.”
Gilio was nominated for this award by Carden-Jessen.
“Gilio has the manner, poise and skill of someone who has been in the classroom for a decade or more,” Carden-Jessen said. “He was an easy choice to nominate.”