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Four teachers named as finalists for the 2024-2025 Teacher of the Year

Posted 4-2-24

Four Springfield Public Schools teachers have been named finalists for the 2024-2025 Teacher of the Year. Over 275 nominations were received. 

The SPS Teacher of the Year will be announced Friday, April 19, at the annual Celebrate SPS banquet hosted by Foundation for Springfield Public Schools. 

The individual selected as Teacher of the Year will compete for Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year. That winner will advance to the Missouri Teacher of the Year competition.

Julie Buerke, Fremont Elementary School, Vocal Music Teacher

Julie BuerkeI always want to know who my students are as opposed to who their actions say they are. When students walk into my classroom, they know they are loved.


Betsy Cannella, Kickapoo High School, Engineering Teacher

Betsy CannellaWitnessing the spark ignite within my students when they find their passions and witnessing their perseverance through challenges, fuels my dedication to teaching.


Alicia Johnson, Twain Elementary School, First Grade Teacher

Alicia JohnsonI use reading to open my students' eyes to the world around them. I want my students to recognize and celebrate the beauty and diversity around us.


Laurie Macy, Pipkin Middle School, Special Education Teacher

Laurie MacyWhen you go into teaching, you think you are going to change the world. Then you realize that you may not change the whole world, but you will change the world for those in your classroom.