Head of the Class

By Angela (Grossmann) Roewe '98

Photo of Maria (Stallings) Page ’89, MAED ’06Leaving a mark on students in a classroom isn’t always easy, but Maria (Stallings) Page ’89, MAED ’06, had great teachers herself, which makes her job as a middle school teacher that much easier.

The youngest graduate in McKendree’s modern history, at the age of nineteen, Maria majored in English and secondary education and later returned to McKendree to obtain her master’s degree in education. “I knew that if I chose the education profession, I would want to teach the subject that allows the greatest amount of self-expression,” she said.

She now teaches creative writing and video journalism to seventh and eighth grade students in the Ladue School District. She also leads a unique eighth grade class called “St. Louis Adventure,” where students first learn about the history of the city, then study city maps, streets, and the public transportation system. Armed with their classroom knowledge, the students then travel from Ladue Middle School to downtown St. Louis to visit organizations for a career exploration day. “We partner with major corporations and private entities that are willing to engage our students in dialogues about their companies and the career opportunities within them,” she said. “In past years, my students have visited Ameren Missouri, Peabody Opera House, KMOV, The Fox Theatre, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch just to name a few.” The class affords the students an opportunity to apply acquired knowledge to real-world situations.

She absolutely loves the rewarding feeling that comes from being a teacher. “I love seeing students excited to participate in the learning process,” she said. “It is also quite rewarding when students return a year or two later to thank me for something I taught them. They often comment that they were not necessarily grateful at the time, but they later recognize the importance of the lesson.” Maria is proud of the district she teaches in because its educators “put students first and their test scores generally showcase that fact.” Ladue School District was named the Missouri School of Character for the 2011-2012 school year. As a member of the Character Education committee, she was responsible for assisting with the compilation of information used to obtain this distinguished character status.

And with the little free time she has between teaching, assisting with Ladue School District groups and functions, and raising a family, she is playing a large role at McKendree as the Alumni Association president and a Board of Trustees member. Maria has been involved in the association for several years, serving as first-vice president and homecoming chair.

As president, Maria’s main goal has been to increase the visibility of the organization on campus. “We are known for sponsoring homecoming activities, but I want the organization to be recognized for much more,” she said. “Ultimately, I want students to recognize that being a graduate of McKendree allows them to become part of an exclusive group. No one can be a better ambassador for McKendree than those of us who studied, explored, and researched our way to the priceless degrees bearing the McKendree name. Our experiences both in and out of the classroom allowed us to grow and develop in ways that only a fellow alum could understand.”

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McKendree University, Alumni opportunities, the Education program, the English program, or the Master of Arts in Education program.