Heartland teacher 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year semi-finalist

A Heartland teacher is in the running for 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year.
A Heartland teacher is in the running for 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year.(Source: Pexels via MGN)
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 3:38 PM CDT
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MISSOURI (KFVS) - A Heartland teacher is in the running for 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year.

Paul Arnold, an American history teacher at Richland High School, is one of 17 semi-finalists named for honor by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

He is the only educator in the Heartland on the list, which DESE says is made up of regional teachers.

The following is the other semi-finalist teachers announced on Thursday, August 18:

  • Christina Andrade Melly, Ritenour — English Language Arts, Ritenour High School
  • Megan Carmody, Lewis Co. C-1 — Music, Highland Elementary School
  • Holly Dahn, Lee’s Summit R-VII — Vocal Music, Summit Lakes Middle School
  • Crystal Eldred, Butler R-V — Grade 2, Butler Elementary School
  • Dr. Allison Fleetwood, Nixa R-II — Theatre, Nixa High School
  • Josh Groh, Mehlville R-IX — Grade 3, Oakville Elementary
  • Erin Hemme, Special School District — Deaf Education, Ladue Early Childhood Center
  • Emily Hilligoss, Grandview R-II — English Language Arts, Grandview R-II High School
  • Cotreena Jones, Ferguson Florissant R-II — English Language Arts, Johnson Wabash 6th Grade Center
  • Kristina Kohl, Lindbergh — English Language Arts, Truman Middle School
  • Jacki Lee, Branson R-IV — Grade 1, Cedar Ridge Elementary
  • Katherine Meyers, Kirkwood R-VII — English, Kirkwood High School
  • Dylan Noble, Belton 124 — Band, Belton School District
  • Matthew Pierce Matheney V, Miller R-II — Mathematics, Miller High School
  • Joshua Smith, Fordland R-III — Social Studies, Fordland High School
  • Lindsey Watson, Blue Springs R-IV — Grade 4, Sunny Pointe Elementary

Finalists for 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year will be announced on Thursday, September 1.

DESE said the selection process began with 34 regional teachers who represented each of the state’s nine Regional Professional Development Center (RPDC) areas.

The goal of the Teacher of the Year program is to spotlight the positive impacts excellent teachers have on their students.