LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Dr. Merideth Ussery

Position: Special Education Director & Curriculum Director
School: Princeton R-V School District
School District: Princeton R-V School District
City, State: Princeton, MO

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Dr. Merideth Ussery was nominated by a family member, Victoria Reed.

Dr. Ussery has been an educator for 18 years, spending the past 12 years at Princeton R-V School District.  She has taught math, history, and English language arts. She has also served as an at-risk director, online supervisor, credit recovery teacher, special education director, and curriculum director. Most importantly, she serves as an advocate for all students and their education in her district. She currently leads teachers and paraprofessionals. 

Dr. Ussery secures the necessary resources to provide the best learning environment for each student to achieve success. For example, she implemented the transition to virtual learning last spring by developing and conducting a district-wide survey to assess the technology needs of each student and ensure success during virtual learning.  She personally delivered work and computers to students all over the county. She also met virtually and face-to-face with students individually to ensure understanding and completion of virtual learning. Dr. Ussery communicated with parents regarding student needs and progress during virtual learning, providing not only academic support, but emotional and nutritional support, as well. She led teachers and staff in creating and implementing virtual lessons. 

This fall, Dr. Ussery served as the liaison between a new virtual school program and the district. She met with students and parents weekly to ensure success while working with teachers to increase their knowledge and understanding of the virtual learning platforms. In the last month, she has provided 30 hours of her personal time assisting two of the virtual students to ensure they would be on track to graduate when they are able to return to face-to-face learning. She works with families of all students to ensure they are successful while learning from home during quarantine.

Dr. Ussery developed and maintains the district's website and social media accounts, promoting school pride and keeping the community informed and involved in the district. She inspires school pride and student success by ensuring that every student's accomplishments are highlighted for the community. She also created a COVID-19 Dashboard to keep the district and community accurately informed. Additionally, she has provided transportation for students who live 30 minutes away to ensure they could remain a part of extracurricular teams, and she drives a special education van when needed.  

"Dr. Ussery inspires the students, staff and community by meeting every challenge thrown at her and the district. She makes everyone better through her positive, 'can-do' spirit," Reed said. "She has served as the varsity and junior high softball coach.  She currently serves as the junior high and high school and competition cheer coach, assistant varsity boys baseball coach, and the volunteer track hurdles coach. Outside of school, she has earned two Master's degrees and a Doctorate in education. She has written three books and is a wife and mother to four active boys. Dr. Ussery truly inspires our entire community and is the spirit of Princeton R-V School District."

Comments (22)

Amber Henke Posted over a year ago

What a perfect opportunity to brag on one of our great educators and leaders in our school district. Meredith displays true leadership and devotion to all of the students at Princeton R-V. Not only is she attentive to students who need special educational assistance, but she is always willing to offer a listening ear to the ones who simply want to visit. She is there to cheer on all the students achievements both in the classroom and on the playing field. Meredith is always looking for opportunities to improve our community, We are lucky to have her.

April m Posted over a year ago

Very deserving person!! Always giving her all for PHS kids!

Becca Eva s Posted over a year ago

Dr. Merideth Ussery is beyond deserving of this award! I have no idea where our district would be without her leadership, knowledge, and work ethic. She works hard to make sure EVERY kid in our district gets the education they truly deserve, as well as all the necessary equipment they need to be successful. She is always the first to volunteer, or help in any fashion she can. Our district has grown leaps and bounds in large part due to her hard work and dedication to every aspect of education. Thank you Dr. Ussery for everything you do for our district, and community! Nobody more deserving of this award!!!

Marilyn Lowrey Posted over a year ago

Go Merideth! You deserve it

Mary Keefer Posted over a year ago

Merideth is a wonderful nomination for Lifechanger of the Year! She has accomplished so much already in her career. Being a math teacher was where her career began. Since I was a math teacher in the district she grew up in, I am even more proud of her! I was fortunate enough to have worked with her in the Knoxville School District and only wish she were still here Creativity and dedication to education are only two of her outstanding credits; the list goes on and on. Attitude and work ethic were two skills I stressed along with learning the math materials needed to succeed in life. Merideth has portrayed both of these in so many facets of her life. Whether playing the role of wife, mother, educator, coach, you name it, Merideth has gone above and beyond to help those in need. Please give her strong consideration when making your choice for Lifechanger of the Year.

Gina Posted over a year ago

Vote! What a honor for a deserving person. Dr Ussery has helped my child in so mamy ways. Thank you for going above and beyond.

Sara Finnegan Posted over a year ago

I worked with Dr. Ussery years ago and have always been amazed by and appreciated her devotion to students and willingness to try new things; whatever it took to motivate students to achieve!

Heather Hall Posted over a year ago

I feel like this award was made for Dr. Merideth Ussery! She has been a great friend, but most importantly mentor to during my 8 years at Princeton. I have leaned more valuable classroom management techniques from her than I can count, and I can lean on her for any support needed. I have personally seen Merideth go above and beyond for all students. It is refresh to see someone have that type of compassion for others and I am blessed to call her a coworker and friend!

Tori Reed Posted over a year ago

My sister, Dr. Ussery is dedicated to her students and community. She is often putting other’s needs before her own. She has never hesitated to help a student, or former student, out when needed. She has volunteered numerous hours helping students in need, transporting them to and from extracurricular activities, being a safe place, and providing necessities. Dr. Ussery is kind, compassionate and energetic. There is no one else more deserving of this award than Dr. Ussery.

Natalie Smith Posted over a year ago

Merideth was always willing to answer my questions and made me feel welcomed at the district. I appreciated her positive outlook and genuine love for the kids and those around her. She has great energy that will impact you just by walking by her!

Audrey Bumgardner Posted over a year ago

Meredith, you are such a great person onside, and out. I am so proud of what you have done for your students, and familt. I have known you your whe life. Keep doing what you do. You will go far. Love you.

Kay Fargo Posted over a year ago

Merideth is committed, determined, high functioning and a wonderful mother of 4 boys. She deserves this more than anyone I can imagine.

TJ Posted over a year ago

Meredith is not only an inspiring dedicated and passionate teacher, but she’s also a wonderful community member always willing to go the extra step for her school, town, kids sports teams, tutoring etc. Beyond her list of awesome accomplishments and her educational journey Meredith is an even better person. She is well deserved of such a special award as she’s the special person that keeps our kids inspired, excited, and engaged!

Darbie Utterback Posted over a year ago

Dr. Merideth Ussery taught my daughter middle school math when she was teaching in Knoxville Community School District in Knoxville Iowa. My daughter had some learning disabilities and really struggled with math. Dr. Ussery made math fun through the use of rhymes, songs and fun activities such as building activities through the use of geometric shapes. She teaches the kids in ways that makes learning fun and knows not all kids learn the same way. She advocates for the kids and always has their best interest as her priority. I honestly believe that the foundation that Dr. Ussery set for my daughter in mathematics in middle school is what helped her to be successful through her remaining years in high school. She is a fantastic teacher and certainly changed my daughters life by building her confidence not only in the area of math but in school work in general. Dr. Ussery is a dedicated teacher, mother, wife, and author of children’s books, who recently completed her doctorate and probably much more than I am not even aware of. She is certainly a life changer and very deserving of your highest recognition!

Lindsey Lowrey Posted over a year ago

This lady is always kind, gracious & upbeat when you come across her. Most importantly, it seems her daily goal is to help kids & her community. I wish more people could find a way to be like Merideth!

Sydney Arnold Posted over a year ago

This is a wonderful nomination to man well deserving candidate! She exemplifies service and grace, not only in the classroom but in our community! We are lucky to have her family here with us!

Madison Enright Posted over a year ago

Dr. Ussery is not only an amazing teacher, but an amazing person! She is a great example for young women and has been a light for me. She shows me and other young women that it is possible to have a wonderful career and chase educational passions (masters degrees, doctorate degrees) while also having a large family! She encourages me to not give up on my passion of achieving my doctorate degree in the STEM field that has always been male dominated. She has shown me that it is possible to have multiple passions and that it is okay to invest in each of these passions. She has been a positive role model for the young ladies in her life and in the Princeton R-V school district.

Kim Borges Posted over a year ago

I went to highschool with Dr Ussery and have watched her grow as an educator over the last 17 years. She has always been a born leader and role model to all ages of those she encounters. I admire her drive and ability to raise 4 boys, manage her family life, and professional career development all while being a vital and active community member. She is more than worthy for the life changer of the year award!

Kari Smith Posted over a year ago

Dr. Ussery taught all three of my children. She is kind and caring and is always willing to help the kids in any subject at any time. She is a wonderful teacher and our students and district are lucky to have her!!!

Megan Martin Posted over a year ago

If I had to define Dr. Ussery in one word, Lifechanger would be at the top of the list. Not only is she passionate about serving children, she gets things done. She can identify their educational/ behavioral needs and will make certain they get the services they deserve. This lady is moving mountains and making education a top priority for all. As an educator myself, I admire her dedication to the field.

Lindsey Posted over a year ago

No one more deserving!

Elly Shaw Posted over a year ago

My sister, Dr. Merideth Ussery, is dedicated to her students and her school district. Not only does she excel at her job duties, but she also volunteers to help students with whatever they need to be successful learners, often at the personal expense of her time and money. She is passionate about education for all kids and strives to provide a caring and nurturing environment at Princeton R-V School District. She truly has changed the lives of many of her students and is deserving of this award. Dr. Ussery is undoubtedly one of the most talented and influential educators to touch the Princeton community.