The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has released the names of 17 semifinalists for the 2020 Missouri Teacher of the Year as it continues to honor and recognize excellence in the classroom. The Teacher of the Year program spotlights the positive impact excellent teachers have on their students.
The list of semifinalists includes teachers of elementary grades and traditional middle and high school subjects as well as instructors of foreign languages and career and technical education opportunities:
- Dan Brinkmann, Washington – automotive technology, Four Rivers Career Center
- Deb Caywood, Liberty 53 – fifth grade, Epic Elementary
- Marie Ebbesmeyer, Paris R-II – second grade, Paris Elementary
- Melissa Grandel, Fordland R-III – English language arts, Fordland High School
- Zachary Hamby, Ava R-I – English language arts, Ava High School
- Denise Henggeler, Northeast Nodaway Co. R-V – fourth grade, Northeast Nodaway Elementary
- David Honeycutt, Lafayette Co. C-1 – English language arts, Lafayette Co. High School
- Mark Korell, St. Joseph – social studies, Robidoux Middle School
- Kevin Lay, Gasconade Co. R-II – physics/physical science/STEM, Owensville High School
- Blake Little, Lee’s Summit R-VII – history, Lee’s Summit High School
- Olga McFadden, Waynesville R-VI – German, Waynesville High School
- Meghan Menchella, Rockwood R-VI – history, Crestview Middle School
- Shannon Porter, Zalma R-V – English language arts, Zalma Elementary
- Jeremiah Simmons, Pattonville R-III – computer science, Pattonville High School
- Jennifer Spiegel, North Kansas City 74 – English language arts, Antioch Middle School
- Rachael Wilcox, Francis Howell R-III – first grade, Independence Elementary
- Sandra Wood, Maryville R-II – Spanish, Maryville High School
The selection process began with the announcement of 35 Regional Teachers of the Year who were acknowledged for their commitment to Missouri students. The next step will be the unveiling of the finalists for the 2020 Missouri Teacher of the Year award on Monday, August 26.
Shelly Parks, an English language arts teacher from Francis Howell North High School (Francis Howell R-III), is the current Missouri Teacher of the Year.
DESE conducts the Missouri Teacher of the Year program with financial support provided by the Boeing Company and Bayer AG.