2 Poplar Bluff teachers named McDonald’s Outstanding Educators

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KBSI) – Two Poplar Bluff elementary teachers were named 2022 McDonald’s Outstanding Educators across a multi-state service area.

Third grade teacher Ashley Blume of Oak Grove and Teresa Hefner, fifth grade teacher of Lake Road, were selected among 50 top educators, plus five grand prize winners, who were nominated via social media in September.

McDonald’s Area Supervisor Tony Seabaugh presented the teachers with $100 Visa gift cards, coffee mugs that read “best teacher ever,” and 25 McDonald’s ‘teach it forward’ coupons to go to students of their choosing on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

McDonald’s received more than 650 nominations from local community members, parents and fellow educators.

“Your good deeds and remarkable work with the youth in our community truly make you an outstanding educator.”

Hefner has been employed at Lake Road since 2012. Before that, she taught at Clarkton Schools. She has about 20 years in public education.

Jamaica Putman, the mother of a former student of Hefner’s, was responsible for submitting the nomination.

“Mrs. Hefner goes beyond the call of duty. She ensures that all her students understand what is being taught before moving on,” Putman wrote. “She thoroughly believes in no child left behind. She is kind, caring and knows how to make you smile. She loves her students as if they were her own.”

Blume has taught third grade at Oak Grove Elementary for 12 years. She began her tenure one year prior at Hefner’s school of Lake Road. Her sister, Shelby Coleman, who is employed by Chartwells at Poplar Bluff High School, made the submission. Blume was surprised to learn about it during a group text with her family.

“She cares genuinely for her kids and puts all her time and energy [into] teaching them, and goes above and beyond,” Coleman wrote. “She truly deserves this award. I have only good things to say.”

Last year, Aleanna Moore, fourth grade teacher at the Middle School, was named a McDonald’s Outstanding Educator. Third grade teacher Amy Ethridge of O’Neal Elementary received the honor during the program’s inaugural rollout in 2020.

West Plains native Andi Hilburn-Vaini, who owns Poplar Bluff’s three McDonald’s locations, among 28 restaurants total, is the sponsor of the program.

Categories: News