Karen Scales – Winter Honor Award Recipient

Posted in: News

Our Townsend office was buzzing with activity around our cookie-filled table as those who could attend in-person and those on zoom swapped stories from the recent Thanksgiving holiday. To kick off our first cookie exchange, Dr. Kathryn Fishman-Weaver and Interim Dean Lembke gathered the group together for some surprise announcements. One of these announcements was the presentation of our winter Honor Awards.

The Mizzou Academy Honor celebrates, appreciates, and honors the contributions of our team. The quarterly, peer-nominated award is open to all Mizzou Academy employees. Each quarter, the administrative team has the difficult task of sorting through exceptional nominations to select a single recipient. They base this decision on the nominee’s work toward our mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities. 

Karen Scales

The announcement that Karen Scales, our global Division Chair for English Language Arts, was the winter Honor Award recipient was met with enthusiastic applause. As Fishman-Weaver read some of the nominations included below, Scales, who had logged in on zoom, dabbed her eyes and laughed.

  • Karen’s sense of humor and thirst for life light up our space. She is vibrant and just plain fun to work with.
  • Karen amazes me with her student communication and support. She holds her students to high standards and is with them each step of the way. Her messages are an awesome mixture of expertise in teaching and “I’m rooting for you!” 
  • Karen brings joy to the meetings she is part of. She is thoughtful when questions come up and helps us consider all sides. Her creativity is wonderful on any project.

Karen Scales has taught at Mizzou Academy for almost thirty years. In 2001, her advocacy led to our first advanced placement course, AP Literature. The course won a University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) Distinguished Pre-Collegiate Course Award and paved the way for our interdisciplinary AP program. A continued thought leader in online and blended methods, Scales has taught all levels of Language Arts, mentored new instructors and built a strong instructional team, and traveled to Brazil to help launch our co-teach program. She continues to offer innovative sessions at our professional development sessions. For Scales, her students always come first. As one nominator said, “Karen personifies excellence in teaching. She is extraordinarily dedicated to her students’ success. Karen holds scholars to high expectations and supports them in reaching those expectations again and again.”

At this same event, Fishman-Weaver also recognized two other honor award nominees, Brian Stuhlman and Dr. Sherry Denney. Stuhlman serves as our Middle School Coordinator and Denney as our Mizzou Global Scholars lead teacher, as well as our Global Middle School ELA teacher. The nominations celebrated Stuhlman and Denney’s collective dedication to student support, teamwork, and problem-solving in the middle school space. Stuhlman’s sharp sense of humor and Denney’s dedication to our team were also mentioned several times.

Awards presentation.

Honor Award recipients receive a certificate, a copy of their nominations, and a $100 cash prize. Previous Mizzou Academy Honor Award recipients include Jeff Kopolow and Jill Clignan.