ST. LOUIS – Seven teachers from the St. Louis region have advanced to the semifinalist stage as nominees for the 2024 Missouri Teacher of the Year award. This program highlights the crucial role that outstanding teachers play in their students’ lives.

On August 18, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced the 17 Regional Teachers of the Year who are competing for the prestigious 2024 Missouri Teacher of the Year award.

The selection process started with 34 regional teachers who represented each of Missouri’s nine Regional Professional Development Center areas. The final candidates will be unveiled on August 31.

Last year, Christina Andrade Melly, an English Language Arts teacher from Ritenour School District’s Ritenour High School, was named the 2023 Missouri Teacher of the Year.

St. Louis area:

  • Carrie Hill, North Andrew Co. R-VI — Second Grade, North Andrew Elementary
  • David Choate, Rockwood R-VI — English Language Arts, Lafayette High School
  • Janet Mees Reinert, Kirkwood R-VII — Library Media, Kirkwood High School
  • Jeffrey Collier, St. Charles R-VI — Band, Hardin Middle School
  • Kaylin Bade, Washington School District — Agricultural Sciences, Washington Middle School
  • Melissa Leibbrandt, Special School District — Special Education, Claymont Elementary
  • Olivia Howard, Francis Howell R-III — Choir, Francis Howell Middle School


  • Dustin Orton, Holden R-III — Ancient World History, Holden Middle School
  • Greg Kester, Potosi R-III — Social Studies, Potosi High School
  • Heather Helle, Scott City R-1 — Music, Scott City Elementary and Middle School
  • Kathryn Victoria Inman, Greenville R-II — English Language Arts, Greenville Elementary School
  • Maria F. Derner, Belton 124 — English Language Development, Belton High School
  • Matthew Willis, Blue Springs R-IV — Band, Brittany Hill Middle School
  • Michelle Thompson, Ash Grove R-IV — First Grade, Ash Grove Elementary
  • Sabria Mustafa El-Kurbu, Moberly School District — High School English, Moberly High School
  • Sarah Mancusi, Nixa Public Schools — Second Grade, Mathews Elementary
  • Zachery Ruble, Pleasant Hope R-VI — History, Pleasant Hope Ranch School