KCPS Announces 2020 School Teachers of the Year

District Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year to be revealed on April 9


Kansas City, March 3, 2020: Kansas City Public Schools is ready to honor some of the very best public educators in the city, state and nation.

The 2020 Teachers of the Year have been selected for 37 schools within the KCPS system:

  • African-Centered College Preparatory Academy-Lower Campus – Erica Mabion (i-Spark)
  • Benjamin Banneker Elementary School – Kourtney Williams (Fifth Grade)
  • Border Star Montessori School – Laura McKenzie (Children’s House)
  • Carver Dual Language Elementary – Morgan McPartland (Fifth- & Sixth-Grade Spanish Literacy)
  • Central High School – Jesse Rivera (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps)
  • Central Middle School – Robert Wheaton (PE & Health)
  • East High School – Amanda Dennison (Social Studies)
  • Faxon Elementary School – Denise Talley-Hopkin (Second-Sixth-Grade Special Education)
  • Foreign Language Academy – Wanda Morales (Third- & Fifth-Eighth-Grade Science, Sixth-Grade Math, Spanish & Social Studies)
  • Garfield Elementary School – Eva Kurzejeski (Sixth-Grade Math)
  • George Melcher Elementary School – Tami Mast (First Grade)
  • Gladstone Elementary School – Uli Schneider (Third-Grade ESL & English Language Arts)
  • Hale Cook Elementary School – Lauren Bakian-Aaker (Fifth-Grade ELA & Social Studies)
  • Harold Holliday, Sr. Montessori School – Wednesday Gray (Children’s House)
  • A. Rogers Elementary School – Krista Kielty (Fifth Grade)
  • James Elementary School – Dana Chambers (Kindergarten)
  • John T. Hartman Elementary School – Katheryn Taylor (Sixth Grade)
  • Lincoln College Preparatory Academy – Joyce Nguyen-Hernandez (12th-Grade International Baccalaureate)
  • Lincoln Middle School – Hannah Goforth (Project Lead the Way)
  • Longfellow Elementary School – Kenneth Park (Fifth-Grade Math & Science)
  • Manual Career and Technical Center – Kyle Smith (Digital Marketing & Media)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School – Chantel Edwards (Sixth Grade)
  • Northeast High School – Brian Tussey (ESL & ELA)
  • Northeast Middle School – Ashley Edwards (Eighth-Grade ELA)
  • Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts – Jenifer Bell (ELA & AVID)
  • Phillis Wheatley Elementary School – Wanda Wilson (Sixth Grade)
  • Pitcher Elementary School – Felicia Bowles (Third Grade)
  • Primitivo Garcia Elementary School – Della Judie (Third Grade)
  • Richardson Early Learning Community School – Ivory Lake (Pre-K Head Start)
  • Southeast High School – Lindsey Layton (Biology & Chemistry)
  • Success Academy at Anderson – Ashleigh Koch (Seventh- & Eighth-Grade Math)
  • Success Academy at Knotts – Tiffani Curtis (Fifth Grade)
  • Trailwoods Elementary School – Stephanie Miller (Fifth-Grade Math & Science)
  • Troost Elementary School – Carly Prewitt (K-Third-Grade Reading Intervention)
  • Wendell Phillips Elementary School – Dorene Durant (Fifth Grade)
  • Whittier Elementary School – Michelle Campbell-Grammer (Fifth-Grade Science)
  • Woodland Early Learning Community School – Bridget Johnson (Pre-K Head Start)

KCPS students, family members, staff and stakeholders were able to submit nominations for 2020 school Teacher of the Year recognitions starting in early January. Principals then led selection processes for each of their individual schools.

The Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the KCPS Education Foundation. The program celebrates excellence in the teaching profession and school leadership in alignment with state and national recognitions. Award recipients must have demonstrated that they can effectively increase achievement in an equitable manner among all their students.

“Teacher quality and effectiveness are among the most important school-based factors impacting student learning. Teachers create the learning environment where children flourish and grow,” Superintendent Mark Bedell said. “We’re grateful for our 2020 school Teachers of the Year and excited to shine a spotlight on their amazing work. They set the standard for every classroom in our school system.”

The 2020 honorees will be recognized on the KCPS news blog – The Plug – and on KCPS social media throughout the month of March. They will also be celebrated at the Teacher & Principal of the Year Awards Banquet, an invitation-only event that will be held on Thursday, April 9, where the district-level award-recipient will be revealed. That person will then become the KCPS nominee for the Missouri Teacher of the Year Award.

Visit kcpublicschools.org/TOY to learn more about the KCPS Teacher of the Year program.