Chester Grade School has a new first grade teacher for the 2019-2020 school year but no one will need to give her a tour.
Former CGS student, Madison Wofford, has returned to her alma mater to fulfill her dream of teaching first grade students.
Wofford was born in Chester in 1997, to Randy and LaRae Wofford. Miss Wofford, as her students call her, attended Chester Grade School as a young girl and graduated from there in 2011.
While a junior high student at CGS, Wofford played on the Lady Junior Jacket Volleyball Team. She also played in the Junior High Band and was a Student Helper. Her grades, community involvement and good character helped get her into the CGS Beta Club.
Following grade school, Wofford went to Chester High School, where she played in band, sang in the select swing choir "Sound Affect," and was a member of the Summit Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). During her senior year Wofford was the vice president of that organization.
Wofford competed in the Platinum Chef program and was an actress in two of the Chester High School theater productions. She was Rapunzel in "Once Upon A High School" and a German psychic in the Murder Mystery her senior year. She graduated from CHS in 2015.
After high school She began her college career at Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, Illinois. She finished her teaching degree at Greenville University in Greenville, Illinois. During college Miss Wofford worked at Little Lambs Learning Center as a toddler teacher.
"My junior year (in college) I was a full-time employee working at Central Elementary School as a paraprofessional in 3-5 special education," Wofford said. "I student taught with Jennifer Armstrong in Steeleville, in third grade. During college I also worked every summer at Schafer's Day Care Center and still continue to do so."
On Feb. 24 of this year, Madison got engaged to Cody Mileur of Chester. Cody really surprised her, by proposing at halftime of an SIU-C basketball game in front of thousands of Saluki fans. That was quite a grandiose start to their engagement.
In her spare time, Madison enjoys coloring, reading, and watching Netflix.
"I love anything Disney," she added. "I also love being with family and friends and anything to do with children."
Now that she is settling in at Chester Grade School, Wofford said her goal is to take every second "to make myself the best first grade teacher I can be.
"I will also be very busy planning my wedding and just enjoying life."
Wofford said her next step academically will be working on a master's degree, along with learning sign language and raising a family.
"My interests include anything that can help make me a better person," she said. "I have always loved the field of education. When I was in kindergarten I knew I wanted to be a teacher.
"Mrs. Colvis was my teacher. I love children and learning how they think. I further love learning how to motivate children and the best way to do that is to be around them as much as possible."
She added, "I know as a first-year teacher there are trials and tribulations, but I am willing to put in the extra work to help my students succeed!"