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Teaching Excellence

Congratulations to our Building Teachers of the Year!

 Each building chose a Building Teacher of the Year from those nominated. These recipients will go on for consideration for the SJSD Teacher of the Year.

Building Teacher of the Year Group Photo

Here are a few words about each of the recipients, excerpted from their nominations:

Benton High School
Dr. Gene Fite, Physics
Gene is described as someone who possess the ability to assist students in a way that makes them want to take his class and want to learn about physics. Students are excited about the class and speak very highly of his teaching style.

Bode Middle School
Deborah Siebern-Dennis, Seventh Grade Science
Deborah Siebern-Dennis has a commitment to mission. She is known for engaging lessons, modeling and setting high expectations of student behavior, and staying current in the best practice of science instruction. When teachers want to go and study effective teaching practices, Ms. Siebern-Dennis always opens the door to their learning.

Carden Park Elementary
Kat Furlong, Art
Kat Furlong is an exceptional educator. She always puts students first. She is a dedicated teacher who makes lasting connections with her students. She sacrifices her free time to attend games of her students, as well as after school art and clay clubs. She has an infectious smile and greets every student in a loving manner.

Central High School
Corinne Russell, French
Corinne is an exemplary teacher who loves her kids and works hard to make everything relevant. She never leaves anyone behind. Her instruction is differentiated and very engaging. She builds relationships with her students and encourages the love of language.

Coleman Elementary School
Millie Montemurro, P.E.
Millie brings an amazing amount of dedication, enthusiasm and love to her job. It’s more than a job to her. She has created a learning environment in her gym that combines her classroom expertise and SJSD curriculum with activity and movement. Her lessons and creative gym designs are impressive and the students and staff love and respect Coach M for her ability to make learning so much fun.

Early Childhood
Mary Cobb, Early Childhood (ELC) (Not Pictured)
Mrs. Mary is a wonderful educator who genuinely loves and cares about all children! She has such an inborn talent to reach children and make learning exciting. She has the most positive attitude and drive for teaching young children. She gives so much of her personal time to her work and it shows! She has a special connection with her students and their families that is remarkable.

Edison Elementary
Meghan Holt, 2nd Grade
Meghan comes in every day with a warm smile and positive attitude. Her classroom makes anyone feel welcome and students are always so engaged. She goes above and beyond her daily expectations for every child as well as for other staff members.

Ellison Elementary
Lisa Reed, 3rd Grade
Ms. Reed is an amazingly talented teacher that works very hard for and with her students. She challenges them daily to be their best selves and to reach their utmost potential in everything they do. Every time you walk into Ms. Reed’s class, the students are fully engaged in what she is teaching, and they have a great deal of respect and love for their teacher. Ms. Reed is always positive and spreads her kindness throughout the school and community.

Field Elementary
Kristy Safley, Kindergarten
Kristy is an amazing teacher with excellent classroom management. Every single child in her class knows at all times exactly where they are supposed to be, how they are to be acting, and that their teacher is cheering them on. She is an essential component of Field and the intensive kindergarten program. It is amazing to see have much her students grow from the beginning of the year to the end of kindergarten.

Hillyard Technical Center
Brian Weed, Carpentry
Brian is a definite asset to Hillyard Technical Center. Student enrollment has gone up since he started teaching in the program, and industries in this area love to hire his students. Brian goes above and beyond and is a positive influence to the culture and climate at our building.

Hosea Elementary School
Sara Dwyer, 3rd Grade
Sara uses much of her free time to not only make school a better place for students but also her mentees. Her nominator noted that they could never have become the teacher they are if not for her. She also plays an active role in the district making sure the needs of her fellow teachers are met.

Hyde Elementary
TOY: Ann Miller, ESOL
Ann is one of the most dedicated teachers. She is passionate about her role in helping ESOL students and she goes above and beyond her teaching role by building positive relationships with each of her students and their families. She creates a safe, caring classroom and her students and their families love her.

Lafayette High School
David George, History and TAG
Mr. George has excellent relationships with students, staff and parents. He is a role model for professionalism and ethical behavior. He is well-spoken and highly respected by students and staff alike. He effectively and consistently implements the 4Cs into his classrooms, and he demonstrates effective and engaging instruction in the classroom.

Lindbergh Elementary School
Jerri Fischer, Kindergarten
Jerri works hard to ensure all of her students are successful to their potential and just as hard to be a mentor to staff members. She created a program called Mighty Flyers to help struggling kindergartners receive extra support during the day. In her time at Lindbergh, she has served on every committee, and she continues to serve on the Innovation Committee, so that she can continue growing in her teaching and learn new ways to reach all students.

Mark Twain Elementary
Abigail Patterson, 1st Grade
Abby is always willing to reach out and work with the teachers outside of her home classroom. It’s common to overhear other staff members at Mark Twain saying that they also admire Abby’s tenacity and flexibility. Even if facing a challenge, she always charges forward with enthusiasm. She also makes the effort to support various types of learners and is not afraid to ask for support to help her students reach their potential.

Oak Grove Elementary
Marcy Powell, 1st Grade
Mrs. Powell is the paramount example of a teacher who has dedicated her life to nurturing the students who pass through her classroom. Every student in her class leaves with a feeling of accomplishment. Her students flourish, both academically and emotionally, and the parents of those students are grateful. She know what is best for kids and applies this every day.

Parkway Elementary
Sarah Mason, 5th grade
Mrs. Mason is an extremely caring teacher. She establishes meaningful relationships with her students, staff and parents. She will go above and beyond with her students to ensure that they are successful in her classroom. She is also a teacher-leader in the building, and an integral part of the school’s PBIS team.

Pershing Elementary
Shelia McCullough, Kindergarten
Shelia is a positive team member, who is a learner, a mentor and is dedicated to her school.

Pickett Elementary
Mary Sanders, 2nd grade
Mary Sanders goes out of her way to make Pickett great. She is so fun for the kids. She is always giving a kid a hug and having a personal conversation. She gives them encouragement, guidance and self-esteem to build them up to continue to be successful. Mary is also very involved within the school and the community, and makes events fun and meaningful for kids.

Robidoux Middle School
Victoria Kurre, Music/Choir
Victoria is an amazing educator who has devoted her life to the profession and the many students she has taught. Since she joined our staff, Robidoux has been bubbling with enthusiasm and excitement in Room 113. Demonstrating great initiative and a strong dedication to students and staff, Victoria has been a key component in continuing the positive, supportive, student-first climate at Robidoux.

Skaith Elementary
Brooke Kissel, 4th grade
Brooke’s outstanding personality shines through her teaching and her students absolutely adore her. She works well with her team, stays organized and always strives to do what’s best for her students. Her lessons are always engaging. She is also amazing at building relationships with her co-workers and mentoring new teachers.

Spring Garden Middle School
Terri Best, P.E./Health
Terri works diligently to develop and implement engaging and relevant lessons that not only meet our students’ academic needs through physical education, but she is also able to reach our students in supporting their social and emotional needs daily. She is truly committed to doing what is best for students and is willing to go above and beyond to make this happen.

Truman Middle School
Mandie Goddard, Special Education
Ms. Goddard is an exemplary teacher in all aspects of teaching. She is responsible for setting up a highly organized, structured environment for learning where all students feel loved, successful and that they are an important part of the classroom community. Her management and style have become a model for the district.

Webster Learning Center
Lori Garza, English Language Arts
Lori is always pushing herself to grow in her learning to best help the students she works with. She has taken the lead on presenting PD to staff and provides valuable learning experiences for all. She is always looking for new ways to capture learning for her students, and strives to provide the best education possible. She is unselfish, kind and supportive.