Chamber and R-7 School District sponsor spring recognition program

Deadline to nominate an outstanding teacher is Jan. 16

When you hear the phrase “outstanding teacher,” who comes to mind? You may want to nominate this person for the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Teaching/R-7 Teacher of the Year Award.

Twelve R-7 teachers will receive the Excellence In Teaching Award. Each award recipient will also become a finalist for the R-7 School District’s annual Teacher of the Year Award. The district’s Teacher of the Year goes on to compete in the Missouri State Teacher of the Year program.

Any teacher, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, and any guidance counselor or library/media specialist is eligible for the program. Due to the Missouri Teacher of the Year guidelines, guidance counselors and librarians are only eligible for the Excellence In Teaching Awards. They will not be considered for the Teacher of the Year Award since the state program is restricted to classroom teachers only.

Former Excellence In Teaching Award winners are eligible to interview for the R-7 School District Teacher of the Year Award if nominated, although they would not be able to win the Excellence In Teaching Award again.

The recognized teachers will be selected by a committee composed of R-7 staff and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the community. The 12 Excellence In Teaching winners will be announced in March and honored at an April 2 reception, to be held at the historic Longview Mansion. The Teacher of the Year will be announced at the reception.

Nomination forms are being sent home with R-7 students during December. Anyone wanting a form may also visit the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District website at and select the Teacher of the Year option under “Trending Topics.” The deadline for nominations is Jan. 16, 2015.

 Teacher of the Year Nomination Form            Past Teacher of the Year Winners

Amy Krinke named LS R-7 Teacher of the Year
Excellence In Teaching winners honored at April 2 event

Amy Krinke, director of choirs at Lee’s Summit West High School, was named Lee’s Summit R-7 School District 2015 Teacher of the Year during a surprise announcement at an April 2 community reception. The reception also recognized 12 R-7 teachers who were named Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Teaching Award winners earlier this spring.

Excellence In Teaching winners 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.

In addition to the Excellence In Teaching winners, other finalists for Teacher of the Year included former Excellence In Teaching winners who were nominated for the award again this year and selected as Teachers of Distinction. These former winners had the opportunity to interview along with this year’s award recipients for Teacher of the Year and were also recognized April 2. They are Todd C. Arasmith, Bernard Campbell Middle School; Stacey Bryant, Underwood Elementary School; and Vickie Metzler, Lee’s Summit High School.

All Excellence In Teaching winners were also honored with the Hertzog Leadership Award, established through the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council to honor Dr. Robert “Bud” Hertzog, businessman and community leader. In addition, the Teacher of the Year receives a $100 Cathy Paulson Heart to Heart Award. This award is funded by the Loren Paulson family in honor of Cathy Paulson, who passed away in 2010.

The Excellence In Teaching program and reception are sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the R-7 School District, and all students, parents, R-7 employees and community members are invited to nominate outstanding teachers. The recognized teachers were selected by a committee composed of R-7 staff and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the community.

As Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Krinke will go on to participate in the Missouri Teacher of the Year program. She has been an educator for 16 years, including seven years with the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Mrs. Krinke has refined the music literacy program for each choir class at Lee’s Summit West High School to develop fundamental music literacy skills through daily sight-singing and audiation. Her choirs have performed nationally including in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

“I believe deeply in the value of music as a tool for self-expression and personal growth.  I want my students to feel and understand the inspirational sources of the music as well as give them the technical foundations to bring music to life for themselves and for others. I strive to show students how to draw parallels between music, their life experiences and their prior learning,” said Mrs. Krinke.  “Music provides opportunities for expression in real time with real human interaction. This connects the students in a unique way, giving them powerful tools for understanding human experiences and learning to communicate with each other and the changing world around them.”

In nomination forms, Mrs. Krinke was praised for her caring attitude towards her students and for assisting them to enhance their musical knowledge.

“Mrs. Krinke’s love for her students is obvious to all around her. She expresses this love through her caring, positivity, enthusiasm and through a great deal of hard work. She holds her students to high standards, but ensures that they hold her to high standards as well, and she continuously works to develop her skills as a teacher and mentor.”

At Lee’s Summit West High School, Mrs. Krinke serves as lead teacher and chair for the Music Department. She has previously served on the district’s curriculum writing team. She makes it a priority to provide opportunities for her choral students to support community organizations, whether organizing a food drive or performing at a retirement community.

In the community, Mrs. Krinke is a member of Kantorei of Kansas City, a professional choral ensemble.  She has also been involved in several church choirs, as a director or member. Mrs. Krinke is a member of the National Association for Music Education, American Choral Directors Association and Missouri Choral Directors Association. She currently serves as a hospitality chairperson for Missouri Choral Directors Association, as well as a mentor for the association’s new teacher program.

She received the Missouri Choral Directors Association’s Kansas City Metro Director of the Year award in 2010. She was selected Teacher of the Month at Lee’s Summit West High School in 2009 and District Teacher of the Month for the Blue Springs School District in 2008.

Before coming to Lee’s Summit R-7, Mrs. Krinke taught vocal music in the Blue Springs School District and Independence School District. She previously taught for Music Arts Institute and St. Charles Borromeo School.  Away from school, Mrs. Krinke also teaches private voice lessons.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Wichita State University, graduating magna cum laude.

2015 R-7 Teacher of the Year


Amy Krinke

Lee’s Summit West High School
director of choirs

 Excellence In Teaching Winners


Recognized teachers are (front row, from left) Susan Julo, Jamie Hatfield, Kari Swezy, (second row, from left) Linda Welling, Dee Ann Owens, Amy Krinke, Jen Posson, (third row, from left) Beth Bock, Kristin Jackson, Kristen Cordes, Colby Cantrell, Vickie Metzler, Steve Perry, (back row, from left) Stacey Bryant, Todd Arasmith.



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