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2020-2021 Teacher of the Year Finalists Named

Five Springfield Public Schools teachers have been named finalists for the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year. Over 220 nominations were received and 107 of those nominated provided their teaching philosophy to the Teacher of the Year committee to be considered as a finalist. 

The Teacher of the Year will be announced in the upcoming weeks and all five finalists will be recognized in August at the annual banquet hosted by the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools.   

The finalists are: 

Shannon Bossing, Harrison Elementary, Fourth Grade Teacher

Shannon Bossing Teaching and learning are not black and white or yes and no.  There is much “gray” when it comes to best meeting the individual needs of children.  I must take all I know about child development, learning standards, differentiation, etc. and set that to the side and really look at that one child.  What does he need?  How can I specifically help her?


Betsy Cannella, Kickapoo High School, Science Teacher

Betsy Cannella I believe that teachers should be a guide for students; a facilitator that can allow them to explore opportunities to create success while engaging their talents and giving them a space to discover their identities.  A teacher should be the one who inspires their progress, not dictate their journey.


Armando Johnson, Central High School, Spanish Teacher

Armando Johnson I truly believe that all students learn in different ways, at different paces.  Each day I work to provide that different way to each student.  I work to help connect students to the world outside of the classroom by providing them with a vast array of cultural knowledge.  I teach to make positive and productive students, citizens, and family members.


Cary Sikes, Gray Elementary, Fourth Grade Teacher

Cary Sikes Students face more challenges today than when I began teaching.  As an educator, the most important thing I can do is to let students know I care about them and that they are important to me.   I believe wholeheartedly in the power of connectedness.  I must find a way to connect to every student.  Those relationships are a vital part of the classroom and must extend to the families of the children I serve.


Michelle Slominsky, Sequiota Elementary, Kindergarten Teacher

Michelle I believe that within each child lies a unique potential.  I see it as my job to help children discover and to foster this potential.  I have the opportunity to shape a child’s lifelong view of school.  I want my students to leave my classroom more confident, more curious and more passionate about learning than when they arrived.