LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Rebecca Mathews

Position: Biology Teacher / SGA and NHS Advisor
School: Wicomico High School
School District: Wicomico County Public Schools
City, State: Salisbury, MD

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Rebecca Mathews was nominated by her colleague, Michele Landolt.

"I have nominated my colleague, Rebecca Mathews, as a LifeChanger of the Year because she is responsible for changing the lives of students that attend Wicomico High School. She also influences and changes the lives of her colleagues, friends, and family, often without her knowledge," said Landolt. "Even though I have only worked beside Mrs. Mathews (Becky) for two years, I can personally attest to her influence on others."

"Last year, I expressed interest in being a class advisor. Knowing nothing about me, she granted me an advising position and unknowingly took me under her wing as a mentor," said Landolt. "At our first event together, she reminded me, ' There's nothing wrong with being a teacher.' This statement influenced me heavily; I have a goal to move to administration, but this passing comment reminded me why I entered the field of education in the first place: for the kids and the relationships."

The relationships Mrs. Mathews has with the hundreds of students she teaches are evident in and out of the classroom. They seek her for advice, tutoring, guidance, and assistance with navigating college applications, essays, and interviews. Several students admit that if it weren't for her, they would not have gotten into college, let alone apply. Sadly, given the area and demographics of Wicomico High School (WiHi)'s student population, students don't think attending college is possible. However, with Mrs. Mathews' guidance and encouragement, it is more than a possibility; it's a reality.

As the Student Government Advisor and National Honor Society Advisor, her influence extends to the atmosphere and community of WiHi, too. As a result of her commitment to the well-being, growth, and success of the students at Wicomico High School, the student population enjoys a themed, catered Homecoming Dance every year. They also partake in a spirited pep rally for each sports season with games and recognition for student-athletes, a spectacular, off-campus prom, and various spirit days for students and staff. In addition to organizing and executing a very successful BINGO fundraiser annually, she assists with Alliance, the Tribe After-School Program (TAP), and Blue Crew (school/sports support). She also supports the grade-level advisors in any and all endeavors they express interest in.

Breast Cancer Awareness is a cause that reaps the benefits of Mrs. Mathews' influence and impact. Mrs. Mathews and the SGA have planned and sponsored a Crucial Catch Football game for the past seven years. The details include the following:

  • Selling Crucial Catch and WiHi-themed activewear;
  • Hosting a "Boob" themed bake sale;
  • Promoting a "pink out" home football game, and;
  • Donating all of the money to raise awareness for Breast Cancer and research. 

Finally, Mrs. Mathews has made a considerable impact and changed the lives of her three children. Her daughter Julia, a senior at WiHi, expressed that her mother has taught her countless lessons. One specific lesson is that even though society sets standards for women, you do not have to fall in line or follow them. Another is that there is nothing you cannot do as long as you continue to fight for it.

This year, Mrs. Mathews is Wicomico County's Teacher of the Year. She received this recognition last year for her leadership in the school and community, dedication to excellence in education, and commitment to the overall development and future of the students that walk the halls of Wi-Hi. 

"It is for these reasons that I humbly nominate Mrs. Rebecca Mathews for LifeChanger of the Year," said Landolt.