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Meet the 2024 MS Rural Teacher of the Year - Mr. Todd Willis

The MS State Board of Education recently recognized Todd Willis, a dedicated educator at CES: Coldwater Elementary School in the Tate County School District. Todd Willis has been recognized as the 2024 Mississippi Rural Teacher of the Year, an honor that showcases his outstanding commitment and passion for education. This recognition not only highlights Todd's exceptional teaching abilities but also underscores the invaluable contributions of educators in rural communities across Mississippi. - Photo Credit - Mississippi Department of Education

Inspiration: Todd Willis' Innovative Teaching

Todd Willis' journey to becoming the Rural Teacher of the Year is a testament to his unwavering dedication to his students and the community. With years of experience in the field of education, Todd has demonstrated an exceptional ability to inspire and empower his students, fostering a love for learning that extends beyond the classroom.

Known for his innovative teaching methods and unwavering support for his students, Todd has truly made a difference in the lives of those he teaches. His commitment to creating a nurturing and inclusive learning environment has not gone unnoticed, with both students and colleagues alike praising his ability to instill a sense of curiosity and wonder in the minds of young learners.

Recognition and Honor: The Rural Teacher of the Year Award

Established in 2021 by the Program for Research and Evaluation for Public Schools (PREPS) in partnership with the Mississippi Rural Education Association (MSREA) the Rural Teacher of the Year award aims to celebrate educators who go above and beyond to make a difference in rural communities. This prestigious award serves as a platform to recognize the invaluable contributions of teachers like Todd Willis, who play a crucial role in shaping the future of our youth.

Todd's dedication to his students and his passion for teaching have truly set him apart, making him a deserving recipient of the 2024 Mississippi Rural Teacher of the Year award. His commitment to excellence and his unwavering enthusiasm for education serve as an inspiration to educators everywhere.


The recognition of Todd Willis as the 2024 Mississippi Rural Teacher of the Year is a testament to the transformative power of education and the profound impact that teachers can have on the lives of their students. Todd will represent MS at the National Rural Education Association Teacher Contest.


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