Lee's Summit R-7 School District
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LSR7 Teachers Receive Excellence In Teaching and Teacher Of Distinction Awards

LSR7 partnered with the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce to surprise 15 recipients of the annual Excellence In Teaching and Teacher Of Distinction awards.

Recognized among LSR7’s high-quality educators, these honorees received nominations for demonstrating outstanding qualities and making a significant difference for students. Students, parents, colleagues and community members can submit Excellence In Teaching nominations to spotlight any certified teacher, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, along with any guidance counselor or library media specialist. Previous Excellence In Teaching recipients are eligible to receive the Teacher of Distinction award.

Honorees will be recognized May 12 during a small reception, where the 2021 Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Teaching/R-7 Teacher of the Year will be announced. The winner goes on to compete in the Missouri State Teacher of the Year program.

Honorees:

Mrs. Jennifer Angotti, third grade teacher at Greenwood Elementary (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “Her positive attitude and willingness to help all children is something that should be awarded. She does an excellent job of keeping the kids engaged in a positive, professional, loving manner.”

Mrs. Sarah Courtney, social studies teacher at Lee’s Summit North High School (Teacher Of Distinction Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “She is fueling the younger generation’s love for history and government, while also being one of the most supportive teachers I have ever had the opportunity of having for class.”

Mrs. Susan Dunham, kindergarten teacher at Hazel Grove Elementary (Teacher Of Distinction award)
Excerpt from nomination: “She never lets a child feel bad about anything. She always makes them know that their mistakes are OK. Her voice is so calming. Her students come first to her and she’s so good at reaching out to the parents. She taught me virtually how to use the Chromebook so I could help my granddaughter.”

Mrs. Amye Dunning, sixth grade teacher in R-7 Online Academy (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “We were apprehensive to do Online Academy because we did not know which teacher or even which school our daughter would receive. Our daughter has had another fantastic year with the LSR7 school district. It has been seamless with instruction for 6th grade, minimal interruptions, and the teamwork between staff in all the different buildings and teachers is incredible. Mrs. Dunning is awesome.”

Mrs. Melissa Finneseth, speech-language pathologist at Great Beginnings Early Education Center (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “Melissa has now had three of my kiddos through the Parents as Teachers speech program. She has been instrumental in helping each of them with their specific needs. They not only have excelled in speech but have actually gone on to be early readers and have early academic success. I will forever be thankful for the help and success she provided to our family through speech and language!”

Mrs. Sherryl Gerke, kindergarten teacher at Lee’s Summit Elementary (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “She has patience and grace like no other kindergarten teacher I have ever worked with. She is positive and empathetic with her students while providing them structure and stability within her classroom. She recognizes that her students are at different levels and always meets them where they are in their learning path.”

Mr. Matt Good, debate teacher at Lee’s Summit West High School (Teacher Of Distinction award)
Excerpt from nomination: “Mr. Good has changed my life forever. I know he will always be not only a great teacher, but a great friend. He has got me more excited about doing hours of research than any other teacher for a reason. He encourages students to be the best, to put in more work than the next school. That mentality, that competitiveness, has sharpened me as a scholar and a person.”

Mrs. Sarah Hughes, special education teacher at Miller Park Center (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “Even as a newer employee it is easy to see her excellence, care and concern for staff and students. She has handled the pressures of the pandemic with grace and poise.”

Mrs. Carol Hull, software engineering instructor at Summit Technology Academy (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “Carol is a master juggler. If something needs to be done, she always does it early, and it is always done correctly! She manages dual credit curriculum, student/parent progress and grade communication, and general building responsibilities with ease.”

Mrs. Mary Humphreys, English language arts teacher at Lee’s Summit West High School (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “Mrs. Humphreys is a true advocate for students. Her teaching style and classroom is inclusive to all students, so they have the opportunity to become the incredible humans they can become. Mrs. Humphreys is a consummate building leader, serving as lead teacher for the English Department, plus on many committees.”

Mrs. Ellie Lilly, seventh grade teacher at Summit Lakes Middle School (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from her nomination: “Mrs. Lilly was so nice to me and really helped me understand history better in my 7th grade year. Mrs. Lilly makes history fun to learn about.”

Mrs. Evonne Medrano, fourth grade teacher in R-7 Online Academy (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “The interactive games she has the kids play to stay engaged is genius. I love the optimistic closing she has them do to be positive and interact with each other since they aren’t in person. I think we hit the jackpot having Mrs. Medrano teach our child. She is truly a gift.”

Mrs. Kay Rosson, third grade teacher at Cedar Creek Elementary (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “Her attention to detail, without distraction, invites every child through her classroom door into the wonderous world of discovery, cultivation, and learning with a gracious smile and warm heart.”

Ms. Jennifer M. Stevenson, speech-language pathologist Great Beginnings Early Education Center (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “Ms. Stevenson stands out from her peers in her ability to communicate with parents, provide parents with needed resources to help children at home, and her seamless transition from in-person to virtual learning. Our child loved the Google Meets where Ms. Stevenson had manipulatives on the screen (click and drags, pictures, etc) to engage with.”

Mrs. Melissa Warden, math teacher at Lee’s Summit High School (Excellence In Teaching Award)
Excerpt from nomination: “My older two children have fond memories of being in her class. When a friend says they have Ms. Warden for a teacher, my children reply, ‘You’re in good hands. She really cares about kids.’ As a fellow teacher, I have the sincerest respect for Melissa. She sets the bar high for quality education.”