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Tea Area School District Teacher of the Year finalists announced

May 8 through May 12 is Teacher Appreciation Week.

Tea Area School District Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Lowery said, “We proudly celebrate our Titan teachers by collaborating with Tea Area Parent Teacher Organization (TAPTO) on the Teacher of Year program.”

Students, parents, community members, and staff nominated teachers throughout April. Representatives from the community judged the nominations based on impact on student achievement, rapport with students and parents, involvement in community and district, and commitment to being and developing lifelong learners.

The 2023 nominees for Teacher of the Year include: Tamera Adkins, Landon Ahlers, Sarah Barnhardt, Rachel Berreth, Matthew Brue, Melanie Bye, Kevin Clark, Cindy Dancler, Meagan Fairbrother, Scott Frey, Todd Gannon, Abby Gullickson, Andrew Griffin, Jessa Hansen, Jessica Henderson, Lynsey Hoines, Elyssa Houtsma, Brittany Hutt, Angela Kamps, Jolene Kayser, Samantha Kinder, Emily Long, John Niesen, Sydney Reedy, Kent Sattler, Clayton Sorum, Mary Beth Sutton, Loren Visser, Drew Weber, and Brenda Whitehead.

The finalists for the Teacher of the Year announcement was made on Monday, May 8. Those being selected were Kevin Clark, Elyssa Houtsma, Jolene Kayser, and Mary Beth Sutton. Zooks supplied goodies to help the finalists celebrate.

The 2023 Teacher of the Year, selected by the community committee, will be awarded during Tea Ara School District’s JK-12 Graduation Awards Program. The program will be held Monday, May 15, 2023, at 1:50 p.m. at the Tea Area High School stadium. The event will be live-streamed on the District’s YouTube channel.

“Please join us as we congratulate our finalists and thank the Tea Area Parent Teacher Organization and their sponsors. Our $2500 Tea Area Teacher of the Year sponsor is Reliabank. Additionally, thank you to all our community sponsors who support TAPTO’s awards to our finalists, Standards of Excellence Employee of the Year, and the appreciation lunch for all faculty and staff,” said Lowery.

A big thank you is extended to the 2023 TAPTO Community Sponsors: Country Acres Tree Farm, B&G Milky Way of Tea, Daggett Trucking, Edward Jones - Casey Jorgensen, Fareway, Get and Go, Glass Doctors, Howe Electric, J&R Mechanical, Koch Insurance, Koele Family Chiropractic, Lennox Independent/Tea Weekly, Pyro City Fireworks, RBS Sanitation, Reemtsma Window Washers, Revive Boutique, Sabers Insurance, Schoenhard’s Custom Cabinetry, Schwartzle Construction, Servpro of West Sioux Falls, Squealers Smoke Shack, Tea Veterinary Clinic, Thorton Flooring, Valley Exchange Bank and Variable Investment Advisors.

“The community’s support and energy generated by celebrating the amazing people in our Tea Area Public School District make this a great place to call home,” added Lowery. “Thank you for being a part of Titan Pride!”


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