2024 Excellence in Education

Platte County School District Takes Home Honors at Northland Excellence in Education Banquet; Barry Elementary’s Nancy Denig Named Christa McAuliffe Winner
Posted on 05/02/2024

Platte County R-3 School District represented well at the 38th annual Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce (NRCC) Excellence in Education Banquet, held at the KCI Expo Center on May 1. The event draws nearly 1,000 attendees from 11 Northland school districts and celebrates outstanding students, teachers, staff, and supporters of Northland education. Sixteen PCR-3 staff members were nominated for two categories: Excellence in Classroom Teaching and Excellence in Service to Education. Seven were honored with a special award, and Nancy Denig, 4th Grade Teacher at Barry Elementary, was awarded the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Classroom Teaching honor. This award has been given since 1987 to the most outstanding nominee for Excellence in Classroom Teaching from all of the Northland school districts.

From her nomination: "Simply put, there’s just something about the feeling when you walk into Nancy Denig’s room. The calm that washes over you makes you feel part of the community, to strive to be your best self, and allows you to struggle through changes with someone you trust by your side. When asking a student why they loved being in Mrs. Denig’s class, the answer could not come fast enough. She immediately said, 'Because she knows me and loves me for it.' Imagine being a student that feels seen, known, and loved everyday. That’s Mrs. Denig."

 In addition to Mrs. Denig’s recognition, special recognition was given to the following recipients:

  • PCHS seniors, Alex Beeman, Gage Fulk, and Caden Hulett, received Excellence in Education scholarships
  • Danille Collins, Teacher at Compass Elementary, was honored for Excellence in Classroom Teaching
  • Lacey Middleton, Instructor at Northland Career Center, was honored for Excellence in Classroom Teaching
  • Dr. Alyssa Smith, Teacher at Platte County High School, was honored for Excellence in Classroom Teaching
  • Candi Rawlings, Student Services Specialist at Northland Career Center, was honored for Excellence in Service to Education
  • Kristy Randall, Administrative Assistant at Platte Purchase Middle School, was honored for Excellence in Service to Education
  • Nicole Jenkins, In School Suspension Supervisor at Platte County High School, was honored for Excellence in Service to Education

Other PCR-3 classroom teaching nominees included: Monique Platz (Pathfinder Elementary), Christine Chesney (Platte City Middle School), Josh Jurgens (Platte Purchase Middle School), and Malinda Jeffries (Siegrist Elementary). Other PCR-3 service nominees included: Belinda Knopp (Barry Elementary), Amy Cardwell (Compass Elementary), Thomas Foltz (Pathfinder Elementary), Chase Hurst (Platte City Middle School), and Lauren Parrish (Siegrist Elementary).

Christa McAuliffe was an American teacher from New Hampshire, who was one of the seven crew members who tragically died on the Space Shuttle Challenger. Past PCR-3 Christa McAuliffe winners include Gay Stuart (1992), Terry Hensley (1996), Amy Young (1999), Lenora Miles (2001), Bret Bogart (2017), and Kristie Simon (2023).

From the Excellence in Education nominees, PCR-3 selects its teacher, service, and support person of the year, which will be announced in early May.