CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 45, No. 66

Aug. 17, 2011

Finalists Named for 2011-12 Missouri Teacher of the Year

Six outstanding public school educators have been chosen as finalists in the 2011-12 Missouri Teacher of the Year program, state education officials announced today.

Award nominations were submitted by school districts from throughout the state.  A selection committee appointed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reviewed the candidates’ written applications and selected the finalists Monday in Jefferson City.

The 2011-12 finalists are:

  • Eric Cochran, social studies teacher, Lindbergh High School, Lindbergh Schools
  • Jennifer DeFeo, sixth-grade social studies teacher, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Jefferson City School District
  • Gina Johnson, seventh-grade science teacher, Raymore-Peculiar East Middle School, Raymore-Peculiar School District
  • Kristen Merrell, third-grade teacher, Lee’s Summit Elementary School, Lee’s Summit School District
  • Vicki Nelson, special education teacher, Litzsinger School, Special School District of St. Louis County
  • Maria Stobbe, seventh-grade communication arts teacher, North Kirkwood Middle School, Kirkwood School District

The selection committee will interview the finalists Aug. 22 in Jefferson City and will choose the Missouri Teacher of the Year, who automatically becomes the state’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year program.

The finalists and the new Missouri Teacher of the Year will be honored at a banquet Oct. 26 in Jefferson City. Robert Becker of the Kirkwood School District is Missouri’s current Teacher of the Year.

The Department conducts the Missouri Teacher of the Year program with financial support provided by the Boeing Company of St. Louis.