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LSR7 Names 2024 Teacher of the Year, Support Professional of the Year

Woman standing behind banner being held by man and woman. Banner reads 2024 Teacher of the Year Jennifer Jones

Wednesday, April 17, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District announced the LSR7 2024 Teacher of the Year is Ms. Jennifer Jones, a Communication Arts educator at Lee’s Summit West High School.

Jones has been teaching for 23 years and spent the last 19 years of her career teaching in the Lee’s Summit School District.

Her teaching philosophy is that first and foremost, students are people who need spaces where they are valued and seen. “I know that in my supportive classroom, my students will take the intellectual risks necessary for writing and reading advanced texts,” said Jones.

Jones is also very involved in the community, acting as a teacher consultant for the Greater Kansas City Writing Project as well as volunteering for the CAPPIES and the Black Box Theater.

A committee made up of representatives from the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce and the School District selected  Jones out of a pool of 11 candidates, all recipients of the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Teaching or Teacher of Distinction awards.

Jones is a 2024 Excellence in Teaching award winner. She’s been previously nominated three other times.

woman standing between adults behind 2024 Support Professional of the Year banner

The district also announced Ms. Tihani Petersen, a bus driver in the district, is the Support Professional of the Year. The award, in its second year, highlights the members of the LSR7 team who make a big impact on students and the district as support professionals.

Ms. Petersen began working for the district as a bus aide and earned her CDL once she was old enough. She was selected out of a pool of more than 100 nominees, including six Support Professional Excellence winners, all nominated by LSR7 parents, staff and students and selected by building administrators. Her care to make sure her kids have a positive start and end to the day and dependability all contributed to her winning this award.