To be recognized at April 2 community reception
Twelve Lee’s Summit R-7 School District educators were recently named Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Teaching award winners. Recognized teachers are Elizabeth Bock, Lee’s Summit North High School; Colby Cantrell, Woodland Elementary School; Kristen Cordes, Hazel Grove Elementary School; Jamie Hatfield, Bernard Campbell Middle School; Kristin Blair Jackson, Lee’s Summit High School; Susan Julo, Highland Park Elementary School; Amy Krinke, Lee’s Summit West High School; Dee Ann Owens, Longview Farm Elementary School; Steven Perry, Lee’s Summit North High School; Jen Posson, Summit Pointe Elementary School; Kari Swezy, Cedar Creek Elementary School; and Linda Welling, Cedar Creek Elementary School.
All 12 recipients will be honored at a reception and program scheduled from 4:30 to 6 p.m. April 2 at the Longview Mansion, 1200 SW Longview Park Drive. The reception is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the R-7 School District, and all students, parents and community members are invited to attend. At approximately 5 p.m., a brief program highlighting each of the 12 Excellence In Teaching Award winners as well as the three Teachers of Distinction will begin.
The recognized teachers were selected by a committee composed of R-7 staff and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the business community. Excellence In Teaching winners are also finalists for the R-7 Teacher of the Year program and will participate in an interview with the selection team.
Mrs. Bock is a science teacher at Lee’s Summit North High School. She has taught in the district for 13 years. She works with her students toward one goal – learning chemistry. Mrs. Bock has been on several curriculum writing teams including Integrated Chemistry and Physics, Biology I, Chemistry I, as well as the textbook selection team. She also serves as a Bronco Smart sponsor.
Miss Cantrell teaches second-grade at Woodland Elementary School and has been a teacher in the district for 11 years. She has served on several committees including Math Curriculum Writing Team, Math Essential Standards Team and Elementary Progress Report Team. She has integrated technology into her classroom through Google Hangouts with the Bronx Zoo and a Canadian classroom. Miss Cantrell has also received four PEAK grants through the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation.
Mrs. Cordes is a first-grade teacher at Hazel Grove Elementary School and has been an educator for 22 years. While working with first-graders, she designed and implemented the “Read to Me” homework program which is also used by her colleagues. Mrs. Cordes participates in activities at Hazel Grove and also volunteers her time with Coldwater and the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation. She is a two time recipient of Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation PEAK grants.
Mrs. Hatfield has been a Spanish teacher at Bernard Campbell Middle School for the past six years and has worked in the R-7 district for 19 years. She was awarded the 2010 National Consortium for Teaching about Asia Travel Scholarship, which allowed her to travel throughout China while learning about the country. She recently organized and led two trips to Europe for middle schoolers. Mrs. Hatfield is also a 2007 recipient of the R-7 Learning for Life Award, a monthly recognition awarded by the district.
Mrs. Jackson is a science teacher at Lee’s Summit High School and has been an educator for 18 years, including seven years with Lee’s Summit R-7. As a chemistry instructor, she wrote a successful proposal to integrate technology into the science department for research, collection, analysis and research. During the summer, she instructs workshops for students wanting to expand their knowledge of chemistry. Mrs. Jackson also co-advises the LSHS Scholar Bowl.
Mrs. Julo is a life skills teacher at Highland Park Elementary School and has been teaching for eight years in the district. She serves on several committees at Highland Park including the Lighthouse Team and Partners In Education. Mrs. Julo created “Functional Fridays” curriculum for the students in her classroom, which has since been adopted by other classrooms in the R-7 district. She also hosts and facilitates R-7 District Life Skills Collaboration for her colleagues.
Mrs. Krinke is the director of choirs at Lee’s Summit West High School and has been a teacher in Lee’s Summit for seven years. During her time at LSW, she has refined the music literacy program for each choir class to develop fundamental music literacy skills. Her choirs have performed nationally including in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Mrs. Krinke also serves as a mentor through the Missouri Choral Directors Association.
Mrs. Owens teaches first grade at Longview Farm Elementary School and has been an R-7 teacher for a total of 18 years. Besides Longview Farm, she has also taught at Cedar Creek and Underwood Elementaries. Mrs. Owens currently serves on the Buddy Classroom and 10-Year Celebration committees at Longview Farm. She has previously been part of Partners In Education, Visionary Team and Derby Day committee.
Mr. Perry is the director of choral activities at Lee’s Summit North High School and has been an educator with the R-7 district for 30 years. During his time with the district, he has led students on 13 musical performance tours throughout Europe including England, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Germany and Greece. Mr. Perry is also a former recipient of the R-7 Learning for Life Award.
Mrs. Posson teaches special education at Summit Pointe Elementary School and has been teaching in the district for eight years. She serves on several teams at Summit Pointe including PBS, Response to Intervention, and Behavior Supports/Interventions. She facilitates the Problem Solving Team and co-facilitates the Student Assistance Program Team. Mrs. Posson also helps raise awareness for TST, Autism, and Downs Syndrome.
Mrs. Swezy teaches third grade at Cedar Creek Elementary School and has taught in R-7 schools for 19 years. She has previously taught at Prairie View Elementary. While at Cedar Creek, she piloted a co-teaching model in her classroom to fully integrate students on individualized learning plans. Mrs. Swezy also represented the district as a member of the Missouri Professional Learning Communities Consortium.
Ms. Welling teaches art at Cedar Creek Elementary School and has been an educator for 36 years, 18 years with the R-7 district. She has received two PEAK grants from the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation to establish an art library in her classroom. She is a published author in Arts & Activities magazine and has won several leadership awards through Artsonia. Ms. Welling also received the R-7 Learning for Life award in 2012.
In addition to the Excellence In Teaching Award winners, other finalists for 2015 Teacher of the Year include Teachers of Distinction, former Excellence In Teaching recipients who were nominated for the award again this year. The Teachers of Distinction interviewing for Teacher of the Year are Todd C. Arasmith, Bernard Campbell Middle School; Stacey Bryant, Underwood Elementary School; and Vickie Metzler, Lee’s Summit High School. The announcement of the 2015 Teacher of the Year will be made at the April 2 reception.