Six public school educators were announced Thursday as finalists for the 2012-13 Missouri Teacher of the Year—and Rockwood School District is represented by one of them.
Nominations for the award were submitted by school districts throughout the state. The finalists are chosen, based on their written application, by a selection committee appointed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
This year's finalists are:
- Janice Wenger, a gifted education teacher at the Center for Creative Learning, , Eureka
- Stephen Schwartz, a first grade teacher at Valley Park Elementary School, Valley Park School District
- Catherine Cartier, an English teacher at Affton High School, Affton School District, St. Louis
- Jeanie Cook, a kindergarten teacher at Pleasant Lea Elementary School, Lee's Summit School District
- Donna Terrell, an art teacher at Fort Osage High School, Fort Osage School District, Independence
- Nichole Tews, an English teacher at Cass Career Center, Harrisonville School District
Wenger is a third-grade teacher at the Center, which services elementary students from throughout the Rockwood School District, including , , , , , and .
“We’re excited Janice’s contributions to her students, school and the district have been recognized by the state,” said Rockwood Superintendent Bruce Borchers in a district announcement. “Our schools are outstanding because of teachers like her, and we’re proud to have her represent Rockwood in this program.”
The Missouri Teacher of the Year program recognizes the efforts of effective Missouri teachers who provide quality education. Preparing, developing and supporting effective educators is a primary goal for the Department's Top 10 by 20 plan to move Missouri into the top 10 states in education by 2020.
The selection committee will choose the Missouri Teacher of the Year following interviews with each finalist to be held on Aug. 6 in Jefferson City. The winner will serve as the state’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition.
The finalists and the new Missouri Teacher of the Year will be honored at a banquet Oct. 15 in Jefferson City.
Missouri's current Teacher of the Year is Kristen Merrell, a third-grade teacher at Lee's Summit Elementary School.
The Department conducts the Missouri Teacher of the Year program with financial support provided by the Boeing Company of St. Louis.