It was an exciting afternoon at Warren Hills Elementary on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 as students packed the gymnasium for an all-school assembly as it was announced that kindergarten teacher Courtney Szymke had been chosen the 2017-2018 Liberty Public Schools Teacher of the Year!
Mrs. Szymke becomes not only the first teacher from Warren Hills Elementary selected for this honor, but also the first kindergarten teacher district-wide to be selected as the LPS Teacher of the Year.
Mrs. Szymke has been a kindergarten teacher at Warren Hills since 2013. She also taught kindergarten at Alexander Doniphan Elementary from 2005–2012 before moving to Iowa briefly, teaching for a year.
“Mrs. Szymke touches the lives of every single child,” says Steve Lumetta, principal at Warren Hills Elementary. “She finds amazing ways to connect with her students, and she seeks out every opportunity for them to have ownership in their learning growth. Students’ experiences cause them to express creativity and apply critical thinking skills, and they are constantly exposed to opportunities that allow them to understand and appreciate the world around them. Mrs. Szymke not only inspires her kids to be better students, she equips them to be amazing people. We couldn’t be prouder to have Mrs. Szymke represent Warren Hills Elementary and Liberty Public Schools as the District Teacher of the Year!”
A graduate of Texas Christian University in 2005, Szymke holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and Masters of Education.
This is the 13th year of the Teacher of the Year program at LPS. A list of previous recipients is provided below. Ms. Szymke will now compete for Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year honors, to be announced later this fall.
2016-2017 Staci Lester South Valley Middle School
2015-2016 Brett Kisker Liberty North High School
2014-2015 Pat Jones Franklin Elementary
2013-2014 Michaela Baker Lewis and Clark Elementary
2012-2013 Charissa Craft Ridgeview Elementary
2011-2012 Melissa Taylor Liberty Middle School
2010-2011 Michelle Kernell Lewis and Clark Elementary
2009-2010 Sally James Liberty Jr. High School
2008-2009 Michelle Davis Liberty Middle School
2007-2008 Eric Langhorst South Valley Jr. High School
2006-2007 Sara Langford Liberty Academy
2005-2006 Cassie Price-Aguero Liberty High School