KCPS to Honor Outstanding Educators at April 11 Celebration

Top 3 finalists for the Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year awards announced


Kansas City, April 4, 2019:  Kansas City Public Schools is ready to celebrate the very best teachers and leaders from across the system.

The following classroom educators have been selected by their students, families, fellow faculty members and leaders to be the 2019 Teachers of the Year for their individual schools:

  • African-Centered College Preparatory Academy-Lower Campus – Charles Golson (Middle School Math)
  • Benjamin Banneker Elementary School – Ashten Link (Kindergarten)
  • Border Star Montessori School – Jo Ann Leach (Pre-K & Kindergarten)
  • Carver Dual Language Elementary – Andrew Murphy (Grade 3 English)
  • Central Academy of Excellence – Tymia Morgan (English)
  • Central Middle School – Amber Underwood (Instrumental Music)
  • East High School – Diane Mora (English)
  • Faxon Elementary School – Saw Lowe (ELL)
  • Foreign Language Academy – Ryan Robinson (ELL)
  • Primitivo Garcia Elementary School – Tiffany Strezoski (Grade 5)
  • Garfield Elementary School – Claire Wolgamott (Grade 4)
  • Gladstone Elementary School – Megan Chilen (Grade 5)
  • Hale Cook Elementary School – Megan Taylor (Grade 6)
  • Hartman Elementary School – Sandra Fowler (Grade 2)
  • Harold Holliday Montessori School – Jennifer Hodgkins (Pre-K & Kindergarten)
  • James Elementary School – Effie Jenkins (Kindergarten)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School – Kathryn Schroeder (Grade 2)
  • Lincoln College Preparatory Academy – Deborah Etterling (Social Studies)
  • Longfellow Elementary School – Brea Smith (Grade 4)
  • Manual Career and Technical Center – Keith Engle (Pre-Engineering)
  • George Melcher Elementary School – Beth Stroud (Grade 3)
  • Northeast High School – Felis Jennings (Algebra)
  • Northeast Middle School – Lindsay Self (Grade 7 Math)
  • Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts – Sharon Mitchell (Visual Arts & Graphic Design)
  • Phillips Elementary School – Kathy Genson (Grade 2)
  • Pitcher Elementary School – Jennifer Tobaben (Grade 6)
  • Richardson Early Learning Community School – Terrie Perry (Pre-K)
  • Rogers Elementary School – Christina Greer (Kindergarten)
  • Southeast High School – Jennifer Wilmes (Grade 9 World History)
  • Success Academy at Anderson – Amy Bell (Exceptional Education)
  • Success Academy at Knotts – Stephanie Balusek (Grade 6)
  • Trailwoods Elementary School – Jon Dunn (Physical Education)
  • Troost Elementary School – Shavon Robinson (Exceptional Education)
  • Wheatley Elementary School – Megan Schippers (Art)
  • Whittier Elementary School – Phyllis Evans (Kindergarten)
  • Woodland Early Learning Community School – Michelle Ross (Pre-K)

Each of the school-level Teachers of the Year submitted nomination forms to be considered for the district-level award. A committee comprised of experts in academics, instructional technology, social work and communications reviewed and scored the nomination forms and selected Jon Dunn of Trailwoods Elementary School, Diane Mora of East High School and Kathy Genson of Phillips Elementary School as the three finalists for the 2019 KCPS Teacher of the Year recognition.

In addition, the KCPS Division of Academics has announced three finalists for the district’s 2019 Principal of the Year Award: Karol Howard of Pitcher Elementary School, Deloris Brown of Phillips Elementary School and Patricia Hayes of George Melcher Elementary School.

All of these outstanding educators will be honored and the award winners revealed during the invitation-only KCPS Teacher of the Year Celebration on Thursday, April 11 at Drexel Hall in Kansas City, MO.

The Teacher of the Year Celebration is an annual awards banquet that started in 2017 and is made possible through the generous sponsorship of the Kansas City Public Schools Education Foundation. The 2019 KCPS Teacher of the Year Award recipient will go on to represent the school district for the state-level recognition.

The major purpose of the KCPS Teacher of the Year program is to recognize the contributions of the classroom teacher. The mission of the KCPS Teacher of the Year Program is to honor, promote and celebrate excellence in the teaching profession in alignment with state and national recognitions.

“Teacher quality and effectiveness are the most important school-based factors impacting student learning,” Superintendent Mark Bedell said. “No one person has a greater impact on the education of a child than does the teacher, who creates the learning environment where children flourish and grow.”