Welcome to dese.mo.gov. We hope you enjoy the site, and we welcome your feedback.

You are here

Missouri 2017-18 Regional Teacher of the Year Winners Announced

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 13:48

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced its 2017-18 Regional Teachers of the Year as part of the Missouri Teacher of the Year program. The 32 teachers selected from all over the state are now eligible for the state teacher of the year award:

  • Melissa Acker, Hermitage R-IV – 1st grade, Hermitage Elementary
  • Tracy Brosch, Sunrise R-IX – agriculture and writing, Sunrise Elementary
  • Scott Clithero, St. Louis College Prep – mathematics, St. Louis College Prep High School
  • Leanne Cope, Aurora R-VIII – science, Aurora High School
  • Crissy Daniel, Oran R-III – science, Oran High School
  • Beth Davey, Ritenour – music, Iveland Elementary
  • Dan Garrison, Raymore-Peculiar R-II – history, East Middle School
  • Katherine Glass, Bayless – theatre and public speaking, Bayless Junior High
  • Kimberly Gutchewsky, Ladue – English, Ladue Horton Watkins High School
  • Daniel Gutierrez, Springfield R-XII – vocal music, Reed Middle School
  • Mary Howard, Kearney R-I – engineering, Kearney High School
  • Matthew Horn, University City – social studies, University City High School
  • Ed Kappeler, Meramec Valley R-IIIlanguage arts and speech, Pacific High School
  • Sara Kempker, Cole Co. R-1 – language arts, Russellville High School
  • Katie LaMar, Desoto 73 – 1st grade, Athena Elementary
  • Kim McCluskey, Scotland Co. R-I – mathematics, Scotland Co. High School
  • Lisa Molengraft, Rockwood R-VI – library media, Ridge Meadows Elementary
  • Darren Morgan, Joplin Schools – history, South Middle School
  • Tracey Morton, Independence 30 – kindergarten, Little Blue Elementary
  • Erin Nash, North Kansas City 74 – gifted elementary, Northland Innovation Center
  • Kathy Oetterer, Franklin Co R-II – communication arts, Franklin Co. Elementary
  • Shannon Pagan, Branson R-IV – 4th grade, Buchanan Intermediate
  • Tara Pennington, Blue Springs R-IV – library media, Moreland Ridge Middle School
  • Brad Rackers, Lee’s Summit R-VII – speech and theatre, Lee’s Summit West High School
  • Adrienne Raspberry, Kennett 39 – science, Kennett Middle School
  • Blake Richter, Nixa Public Schools – music, Nicholas A. Inman Intermediate
  • Adam Scimone, Kirkwood R-VII – gifted, Nipher Middle School
  • Stacia Studer, St. Joseph – English language arts, Bode Middle School
  • Melissa Surber, Troy R-III – English language arts, Troy Buchanan High School
  • Courtney Szymke, Liberty 53 – kindergarten, Warren Hills Elementary
  • Megan Vallis, Lindbergh Schools – library media, Truman Middle School
  • Todd Wolfe, School of the Osage – special education, Osage Upper Elementary


The Regional Teacher of the Year process began last year in an effort to celebrate outstanding teachers from more areas of the state. The Missouri Teacher of the Year for 2017-18 will be selected in August. The Missouri Teacher of the Year program recognizes the efforts of effective teachers in providing a quality education to their students. Preparing, developing and supporting effective educators is a primary goal of the Department's Top 10 by 20 initiative.

The Department conducts the Missouri Teacher of the Year program with financial support provided by the Boeing Company and the Monsanto Fund.