Teacher Spotlight: Brenda Massie, LASD.

April 14, 2021

Brenda Massie

Teacher Spotlight: Brenda Massie, LASD.

By Kate Krieger-Watkins, staff writer.

Teacher Spotlight is a presentation of Shelby State Bank, with offices in Ludington, Pentwater, Shelby, Hart, Hesperia, Manistee, Montague, Whitehall, North Muskegon, and Fruitport. 

LUDINGTON – Brenda Massie graduated from Ludington High School in 1978. Twenty-six years later, she returned to the district as a teacher. 

After graduating high school, Brenda attended Central Michigan University where she earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in special education, emphasizing in teaching the emotionally impaired in grades kindergarten through 12th. She also earned an elementary education endorsement for grades K-8, along with a a minor in health education, grades K-9. 

She and her husband, Tim, moved to Houston the summer after she graduated from college. Tim had accepted job with a certified personal accounting firm.

After moving to Texas, Brenda started looking for a teaching job and quickly found one.

“I was hired by Cypress-Fairbanks School District, where I taught a self-contained room for students with emotional impairment,” she said. “My students ranged from first through fifth grade. I also taught fourth and fifth grade social studies in that district.”

Brenda and Tim did not stay in Texas long. They decided to return to Ludington, where Tim started his own CPA practice.

“At that time, we made a decision that I would take a break to stay home and to be with my children, Steven, Alissa, and Leah,” Brenda said. “I stayed home until I took the position of director of the Pregnancy Care Center for several years. It was through that experience of going into the schools to teach abstinence education presentations that I realized I missed the relationships you form in the classroom.”

As the Massie children grew older, Brenda decided it was time to return to the classroom and she started looking for jobs in the area.

“In the year 2002, I took a position at Pentwater Public Schools teaching high school and middle school special education,” she said. “I taught there for two years before accepting a position with Ludington Area Schools as a sixth-grade teacher at Foster Elementary School in 2004. It was during this time I earned my master’s in education from Grand Valley State University and later received a second master’s degree from Central Michigan University.”

Brenda has been teaching for over 20 years and said there are many things she loves about the profession but developing relationships with her students is her favorite.

“I am completing my 21st year in the teaching profession,” she said. “My favorite aspect of being an educator is the relationship you have the privilege of developing with students. I love to watch them grow and learn and recognize how much potential they truly have.”

Brenda said there have been different challenges during her career but teaching during a world-wide pandemic has been very difficult and frustrating for all those involved, but she also believes that the pandemic has brought out a lot of qualities in individuals that they may not have known that they had in the first place.

“Teaching is an art, and the medium is the children. Teachers and children are meant to be together. I was anxious being away from them last spring.”

Even with all the ups and downs of last spring and this school year, Brenda remains hopeful that maybe some good will come out of the pandemic.

“Everyone talks about how much students have lost this year,” Brenda said. “I don’t have that same view. I see students who appreciate being back in person and no longer take for granted the privilege of attending school. They have learned many lessons this past year that will serve them well in their future endeavors. We may well discover, in the end, that they have actually gained more than they lost. I feel fortunate to work in a community that continues to place great value on children and their education.”

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