Missouri Charter Public School Association Recognizes St. Louis’ Best Charter School Educators

St. Louis, Mo. – Amidst an unprecedented global health crisis, schools and educators have been tasked with overhauling their procedures and curriculum to ensure students’ safety, while also continuing to provide a high-quality education. As educators rise to the challenge, yet again, the Missouri Charter Public School Association (MCPSA) with support from area sponsors has honored some of the city’s best educators during the first annual Missouri Charter Schools Excellence in Education Awards.


“With the onset of school closings and distance learning, we’re reminded once again that educators are the unsung heroes in our students’ and families’ lives,” said Douglas Thaman, executive director of MCPSA. “The educators we’re honoring, like many others, have dedicated their lives to the education and betterment of their students, and they deserve to be lauded for their efforts.”


The Excellence in Education Awards came to fruition through a partnership with SchoolSmartKC, MCPSA, and Kansas City Public Schools to recognize Kansas City area teachers. The program aims to elevate the teaching profession, increase teacher retention, and attract talent to pursue a career in education. MCPSA was able to create a corresponding awards ceremony in St. Louis with support from Sprint, Commerce Bank, Schnucks, SchoolWorks, GibbonsWorkman, New Plan Learning, IFF, Westbrook & Co., P.C., and Kerber, Eck & Brackel, LLP.


Educators are nominated by their peers for one of five categories, including “Teacher of the Year” and “School Leader.” For each category there are three finalists and ultimately one award winner, which comes with a $10,000 prize. The winners join an elite group of master educators who serve as mentors, and offer best practices and professional development opportunities for other educators.


The 2020 Excellence in Education St. Louis finalists and award winners are listed below.


2020 Excellence in Education St. Louis Finalists and Award Winners


Elementary Teacher of the Year

★      Carolyn Jordan – The Biome

          Mattie Lucas –  KIPP: St. Louis

          Martine McGull – North Side Community School


Middle/High Teacher of the Year

★      Catherine Van Winkle – Gateway Science Academy

          Jessica Maybearry – Gateway Science Academy

          Shannon Michel – Gateway Science Academy


Staff Member of the Year

★      Jeanne Godar-Kriss – Lift for Life Academy

          Travis Armknecht – Grand Center Arts Academy

          Brian Schick – Gateway Science Academy


School Leaders of the Year

★      Susan Marino – Lafayette Preparatory Academy

★      Sarah Ranney – Lafayette Preparatory Academy

          Meghan Hill – St. Louis Language Immersion School





About Missouri Charter Public School Association

Missouri Charter Public School Association’s (MCPSA) is recognized and respected as the primary resource and representative voice of Missouri’s charter school sector. MCPSA’s mission is to improve student achievement by increasing access to high quality charter public education options throughout Missouri. In order to make this happen, MCPSA continuously develops and implements strategic services, resources, and partnerships intended to assist charter schools in providing the best possible public school opportunity to students and families .http://mocharterschools.org.