2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year Semi-finalists Announced



The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has announced the 17 Regional Teachers of the Year who have been selected as semi-finalists for the 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year award. The Teacher of the Year program spotlights the positive impact excellent teachers have on their students.

The list of semi-finalists includes teachers from multiple grade levels and subject areas:

  • Christina Andrade Melly, Ritenour — English Language Arts, Ritenour High School
  • Paul Arnold, Richland R-1 — American History, Richland High School
  • Megan Carmody, Lewis Co. C-1 — Music, Highland Elementary School
  • Holly Dahn, Lee’s Summit R-VII — Vocal Music, Summit Lakes Middle School
  • Crystal Eldred, Butler R-V — Grade 2, Butler Elementary School
  • Dr. Allison Fleetwood, Nixa R-II — Theatre, Nixa High School
  • Josh Groh, Mehlville R-IX — Grade 3, Oakville Elementary
  • Erin Hemme, Special School District — Deaf Education, Ladue Early Childhood Center
  • Emily Hilligoss, Grandview R-II — English Language Arts, Grandview R-II High School
  • Cotreena Jones, Ferguson Florissant R-II — English Language Arts, Johnson Wabash 6th Grade Center
  • Kristina Kohl, Lindbergh — English Language Arts, Truman Middle School
  • Jacki Lee, Branson R-IV — Grade 1, Cedar Ridge Elementary
  • Katherine Meyers, Kirkwood R-VII — English, Kirkwood High School
  • Dylan Noble, Belton 124 — Band, Belton School District
  • Matthew Pierce Matheney V, Miller R-II — Mathematics, Miller High School
  • Joshua Smith, Fordland R-III — Social Studies, Fordland High School
  • Lindsey Watson, Blue Springs R-IV — Grade 4, Sunny Pointe Elementary

The Teacher of the Year selection process began with the announcement of 34 Regional Teachers of the Year who represented each of the state’s nine Regional Professional Development Center (RPDC) areas. Next, DESE will announce the finalists for the 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year award on Thursday, September 1.

James Young, a Musical Theatre teacher from Ferguson Florissant R-II’s Johnson Wabash Sixth Grade Center, is the 2022 Missouri Teacher of the Year.