By CAITLIN WHERLEY
Patti Raynor, principal
Raynor is the new principal for Two Mile Prairie Elementary School, but she’s not new to education. She was an educator in the Eldon R-I School District for 18 years, teaching first, second and third grades; she was also the assistant principal for two years. Last year, Raynor was assistant principal at Paxton Keeley Elementary School in Columbia.
“My favorite thing is building solid relationships with students, staff, and parents,” Raynor said. “If I am having a rough day, I usually go into a kindergarten or first grade room and sit on the floor with them. That always puts things into perspective. I love being able to have a chance to make a difference in a child’s life.”
In her spare time, Raynor likes to visit with friends and family. She has two grown daughters, Lauren and Allison. She especially likes spending time with twin grandsons, who were born in January.
Sheri Parker, art teacher
Parker is a new art teacher in Columbia Public Schools. She teaches classes at Two Mile Prairie, Mill Creek and Derby Ridge elementary schools. Her experience in the district has been positive.
“I like how the other art teachers are really supportive and bounce ideas back and forth with each other, especially about projects the kids really love,” Parker said.
Parker grew up in Indiana, where she attended Indiana University, majoring in art education. She graduated from IU in December 2008 and moved to Columbia in January 2009. Her husband, Thomas Parker, is an art teacher at Hickman High School.
Sheri Parker wanted to teach in the district, but when she first moved to Columbia, there were no open art teacher positions. Parker worked for Adventure Club at Paxton Keeley and was hired as a facilitator for Adventure Club at Two Mile Prairie in spring 2009.
In spring 2010, Parker interned at Rock Bridge High School in advanced art classes. She helped a group of girls create wearable art, teaching them to sew and helping them make pieces for a fashion show and documentary.
In her spare time, Parker enjoys embroidering. Many of her pieces feature cotton candy, popsicles and other sweets. She is working on her master’s degree at MU.
One of Parker’s embroidery pieces.