SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Two teachers from the Springfield area are finalists for the 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year award by The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

The Missouri Teacher of the Year program recognizes the efforts of effective teachers, working tirelessly to provide a high-quality education to their students.

“More than 70,000 public school educators across our state work hard every day to make an impact on the lives of Missouri students,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “Taking time to honor the top educators across our state through the Teacher of the Year program is important, as we are continually striving to elevate the teaching profession and emphasize the significance of the work they do.”

This year’s finalists

  • Christina Andrade Melly, Ritenour: English Language Arts, Ritenour High School.
  • Dr. Allison Fleetwood, Nixa Public Schools: Theatre, Nixa High School.
  • Catrina Jones, Ferguson-Florissant School District: English Language Arts, Johnson Wabash 6th Grade Center.
  • Kristina Kohl, Lindbergh: English Language Arts, Truman Middle School.
  • Matthew Pierce Matheney V, Miller R-II: Mathematics, Miller High School.
  • Katherine Meyers, Kirkwood School District: English, Kirkwood High School.
  • Lindsey Watson, Blue Springs School District: Grade 4, Sunny Pointe Elementary.

Dr. Allison Fleetwood and Matthew Pierce Matheney all teach in or in close proximity to Springfield.

A committee comprised of teachers, business leaders, and education organization officials will choose the Missouri Teacher of the Year following interviews with each finalist on Friday, September 9. The winner, finalists, semi-finalists, and Regional Teachers of the Year will be honored during a recognition event on October 17.