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Awards & Honors

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Eight Missouri Schools Named Blue Ribbon Schools

Eight public schools in Missouri have been honored as 2016 Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. The national award honors schools that perform at high academic levels or that perform at high levels while serving a significant proportion of disadvantaged students.

These are Missouri's Blue Ribbon Schools:

  • Adrian Elementary, Adrian R-III School District
  • Chapel Hill Elementary, North Kansas City 74 School District
  • Fairway Elementary, Rockwood R-VI School District
  • Harry S Truman Elementary, Webb City R-VII School District
  • James E. Freer Elementary, Windsor C-1 School District
  • Lucy Franklin Elementary, Blue Springs R-IV School District
  • Richland High School, Richland R-I School District
  • William Yates Elementary, Blue Springs R-IV School District
  • News Release (09/28/2016)

Savannah R-III Elementary Teacher Named 2016-17 Missouri Teacher of the Year

A passion for education developed in the heart of Darbie Valenti years ago, when the actions of an elementary school art teacher changed her life.

“School is what saved me,” Valenti said. “It shaped me, and it determined my life. I am purposeful in my mission to make sure that it does the same for the students in my classroom, because my life is visible evidence that one teacher’s ability to see potential makes all the difference to a child.”

That mission to build upon her own upbringing and take a vested interest in both students and co-workers was acknowledged on Thursday afternoon when Valenti was named the 2016-17 Missouri Teacher of the Year. The surprise announcement came during the Northwest Regional Professional Development Center’s annual Teacher of the Year celebration in St. Joseph, while the Savannah R-III school district will be celebrating “Darbie Day” on Friday at her school.

White House Recognizes Four Missouri Educators

Four Missouri teachers were recognized as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) this week, as the White House announced more than 200 winners nationwide from the 2014 and 2015 nominating years.

Nancy McClintock (Science, Center for Creative Learning, Rockwood R-VI School District), Katherine Schack (Mathematics, Lakeview Elementary, Wentzville R-IV School District), Carol Robertson (Science, Fulton High School, Fulton 58 School District) and DeannaWasman (Mathematics, Hickman High School, Columbia 93 School District) will be acknowledged at a national awards ceremony in Washington, DC on September 8.

Science Teacher from St. Joseph Wins Prestigious Milken Award​

Deborah Siebern-Dennis, a 7th and 8th grade honors science teacher at Bode Middle School in St. Joseph, has been named the winner of a Milken Educator Award that includes an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000. St. Joseph School District officials called a surprise assembly for the announcement today. Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley of the Milken Educator Awards made the presentation. Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven was on hand for the celebration and helped surprise Deborah.