Smith-Cotton science teacher Chelsea Mattson was honored over the summer at the Missouri Scholars Academy at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Students and administration alike believe Mattson’s bond with her students leads her to be an influential teacher.
MSA is a three-week summer program for gifted students going into their junior year. Students who attend can nominate a teacher of their choosing to be honored there. Mattson was nominated by S-C junior Ethan Daly, who was joined at the academy by classmate Malacki Ehlers. Daly nominated Mattson because of how much he got to know her throughout his sophomore year. Since Daly had Mattson for two of his classes, chemistry and Algebra II, he gained a connection with her. Daly added that Mattson wrote a recommendation letter that helped him get into MSA.
Mattson said it’s rewarding to know that she’s making a difference in students’ lives. She added that lots of times, it’s easy to feel unappreciated as a teacher, and that moments like the MSA recognition are very reassuring.
Although this is only her second year at S-C, Principal Wade Norton believes that Mattson has already made herself at home.
“She fits like a glove,” Norton said.
He added that Mattson was handling a big load last year being a part of two departments, science and math. Norton also noticed the time Mattson puts in for her students.
“She was always here before and after school and made it so that her students could be successful,” Norton said.
Mattson’s bonds with her students are very important to her, and she tries to build a connection with each of her students.
“You never know who it will impact,” Mattson said.
Norton describes Mattson as an “open book,” because she is upfront and honest with her students. There are lots of teachers at S-C, but Norton always notices the smile on Mattson’s face and her ability to talk to and befriend others.
Mattson feels honored to have been nominated at MSA, and is thankful for the opportunity.
“There are lots of great teachers at Smith-Cotton,” Mattson said. “I think they all deserve to be there.”