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Independence Elementary teacher selected as Teacher of the Year finalist

For another year, an educator from the Francis Howell School District has been selected as a Missouri Teacher of the Year Finalist by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education [DESE].

Seven educators from around the state were named as finalists, and Independence Elementary first grade teacher Rachael Wilcox was among those selected. Finalists are eligible for consideration as the Missouri Teacher of the Year.

Wilcox [FHSD photo]

Wilcox, who  was named the 2019 Francis Howell School District Teacher of the Year, has taught at Independence Elementary for 11 years. According to Independence Principal Emily Pavia, Wilcox inspires students both personally and academically.

“At Independence, we strive to make a difference in the lives of children every day, and Rachael’s positive impact is felt by her students, staff, and parents,” said Pavia. “Her use of innovative instructional strategies and forging meaningful relationships with students and families demonstrates her commitment to the success of every student in her classroom.”

The DESE Teacher of the Year program spotlights the positive impact teachers have on students. School districts throughout the state submitted nominations for the award, and a panel appointed by DESE selected the finalists from among 35 regional teachers of the year. A committee comprised of teachers, business leaders, and school administrators will choose the Missouri Teacher of the Year following interviews this month. The winner, finalists, and Regional Teachers of the Year will all be honored at a banquet in Jefferson City on Oct. 21.

The current Missouri Teacher of the Year is Shelly Parks, an English/language arts teacher at Francis Howell North High.

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