BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. - Beth Vernon had a reason for being late to the school assembly. The eighth grade earth sciences teacher at Brittany Hill Middle School was cleaning up her fossil lab.
Vernon was told the assembly would be about the recently passed school safety bond issue in Blue Springs. She also thought she was supposed to dress up Tuesday for MAP testing. But once she got to the gymnasium, she soon realized the assembly was for her -- and dressing up had nothing to do with student testing.
"I did not dress up, and everyone else did," she said. She was finally let in on the secret: She had just been elected to the National Teacher's Hall of Fame. The gymnasium erupted in loud cheers while she hugged fellow teachers and administrators.
"I feel guilty with all this praise landing on me because teachers all over have the burden and should also share in the glory," Vernon said. "I wish there was a way I could share this with everyone."
Vernon is known for innovation in the classroom. One of her teaching techniques is writing and performing songs on her guitar to help students retain information.
She will join one other Missouri teacher, Darryl Johnson of Smithville High School, and three others from Texas, Oklahoma and Maryland in the 2013 induction class. Johnson teaches language arts.
The National Teacher's Hall of Fame was founded in Emporia, Kan., in 1989 to honor teachers and the teaching profession. Hall of Fame induction festivities will take place June 12-14 in Emporia.