MCTM 2022

Poplar Bluff Middle School math teacher earns statewide award ‚Äč
Posted on 12/22/2022
Nancy Bergfeld and Dr. Brandi Compass.

Sixth grade math teacher Dr. Brandi Compass has received statewide recognition through a professional math association in her return to Poplar Bluff Middle School.

Compass was presented the 2022 Middle School Outstanding Mathematics Educator award from the Missouri Council of Teachers of Mathematics on Friday, Dec. 2, during its fall conference in Columbia.

“Brandi is one of those teachers you come across in a great while,” wrote Middle School sixth grade science and social studies teacher Katherine Johns in a letter of recommendation. “…Brandi is able to see exactly what each child brings to the community, and her whole teaching approach involves finding and using children’s unique strengths to help them overcome their struggles and develop a positive self-concept.”

Compass began at the Middle School this school year, after previously teaching for five years at the former 5th & 6th Grade Center and Poplar Bluff High School. Her tenure in public education started in 2010, having served in Charleston, East Prairie, Cape Girardeau and Woodland over grades K-8, most recently in an instructional coach capacity.

Additionally, Compass has been employed as an adjunct instructor at Three Rivers College, and has spent three summers abroad leading an international team of educators through the nonprofit Inspiring Teachers, volunteering to train other math teachers in Guyana, India and Nepal.

“Her planning, perceptions and knowledge of analyzing and implementing student data is like no other,” stated PBHS special education teacher Heather Rommel, who worked as co-teacher alongside Compass during her time at the secondary level. “These students who once struggled or failed at math are now B students and becoming deep thinkers.”

Dr. Josh Teeter, Middle School principal, echoed the sentiment in his recommendation, stating that Compass is "growth-minded” and knows the “importance of analyzing data” to improve instruction. “Her ability to differentiate based on student need is exceptional,” Teeter stated.

Last year, Compass earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Lindenwood University, where she is presently working toward a specialist degree in administration. She previously earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in elementary education, respectively, from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau.

As part of the nomination packet, Compass detailed her classroom philosophy of “teaching to the whole student.” She explained: "My focus as a teacher is to instruct, guide, mentor and help my students become high-level thinkers, problem solvers and all around good people no matter what their backgrounds are or where their struggles fall.”

The Outstanding Mathematics Educator award is one of several presented by the MCTM annually since the recognition program was established in 1997. Poplar Bluff Middle School intervention teacher Kristi Sittig was previously named the MCTM Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2015.

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Cutline: Dr. Brandi Compass, math teacher at the Middle School, is presented a Missouri Outstanding Mathematics Educator award by MCTM representative Nancy Bergfeld on Friday, Dec. 2, in Columbia.

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