Incoming R-1 administrator has local roots

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 3/6/21

VIENNA — As the new fiscal year begins for the Maries R-1 School District on July 1, 2021, there will be a new administrator on campus. Mrs. Teresa Messersmith, a former R-1 teacher, will …

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Incoming R-1 administrator has local roots

Posted

VIENNA — As the new fiscal year begins for the Maries R-1 School District on July 1, 2021, there will be a new administrator on campus. Mrs. Teresa Messersmith, a former R-1 teacher, will become the Maries R-1 School Superintendent effective on that date. She has worked her way up the ranks in public education, from teacher, to principal, and now as an upcoming superintendent.

Messersmith is well known to many in the R-1, Vienna, School District. She is married to Richard “Squeak” Messersmith and has been for 28 years. They have two children, Levi, 20, and Marsie, 18, who is a senior at Vienna High School. They live in Maries County in the Dixon area.

Messersmith, whose maiden name is Crismon, graduated from Iberia High School. As a child, from age seven she was raised by her father, a single parent. In her young school days, she looked up to teachers for guidance and as role models. These teachers saw her potential and encouraged her to go to college and to become an educator. She did, graduating in 1997 with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Lincoln University, Jefferson City. Messersmith taught for 17 years, realizing her true passion for the students and for instruction. She taught 4th grade for 14 years at Maries R-1. She also taught 4th grade for two years at Dixon R-1 School District. Messersmith  worked as a special education teacher at Iberia R-V School District for three years. 

While teaching at Dixon, she mentored three novice teachers and liked it. She saw firsthand the influence she could have on the growth, development, instruction and curriculum for teachers and the school if she was a principal. She wanted to help teachers become better teachers. Achieving her goals, she graduated in 2014 with a master’s degree in elementary administration from William Woods University, Fulton.  Messersmith currently is in her sixth year as an elementary principal at the Cole R-5 School District, Eugene. 

She has enjoyed her work as a principal and realized a superintendent has more influence over all the decisions in the school district. This appealed to her and in 2018 she earned a specialists degree in administration from William Woods University. 

Both advanced degrees were earned from classrooms in Rolla at a William Woods satellite campus.

As a superintendent, Messersmith said she will have the opportunity to promote and establish a sense of teamwork and collaboration from the top down. She will have input on curriculum and instructional strategies in the classroom. She hopes to work as a team with the staff at Maries R-1. The professional learning community (PLC) days at Maries R-1 she hopes to continue and strives for a good relationship with the students, staff, school parents, and the community. 

Messersmith has been part of the Vienna/Maries R-1 communities for 23 years and said, “I know it’s a good place to be.” She said Vienna is similar to Eugene in that they are good, small towns with people with good morals and solid family units. 

Her school community at Eugene was understanding about her seeking this new opportunity to be a superintendent in the school district she lives in. It will be good for her professionally to move up the education ladder, plus she won’t have very far to commute. 

Current Maries R-1 Superintendent Mark Parker commented about the school district’s hiring of Mrs. Messersmith.

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to lead the Maries R-1 School District for the past three years and am very thankful to have had this opportunity. I feel that in this time, we have made great strides in improving the educational opportunities that our students have had as well as making huge facility improvements for our students and community. As I prepare to retire in June, I will work very hard to help Mrs. Messersmith transition into this role as superintendent. I feel that she will be a good fit for our school district and she will do her best to continue to improve our school.”

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