Excellence in Education

Platte County School District Takes Home Honors at Northland Excellence in Education Banquet; Siegrist Elementary’s Kristie Simon Named Christa McAuliffe Winner
Posted on 05/02/2023

Platte County R-3 School District represented well at the 37th annual Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce (NRCC) Excellence in Education Banquet, held at the KCI Expo Center on April 25. The event draws nearly 1,000 attendees from 11 Northland school districts and celebrates teachers, educators in service, volunteers, and businesses who support education in the Northland. Fifteen PCR-3 staff members were nominated for two categories: Excellence in Classroom Teaching and Excellence in Service to Education. Four were honored with a special award, and Kristie Simon, 2nd Grade Teacher at Siegrist 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: "Mrs. Simon knows that relationships are key, and she greets her students every morning at the door with a smile. She is able to build these relationships with voice and choice within her instruction from her students, knowing their preferences shows respect and supports autonomy. When you walk into Kristie’s room you hear light chatter, maybe a giggle, you see students engaged, cooperative learning, and a warm feeling of home. She’s been able to accomplish this because she has strong relationships."

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

  • PCHS seniors, Drew DeLay, Lacey Franksen, Ella Lowstetter, Abigail Reynolds, Demi Riechers, and Cameron Wolfe, received Excellence in Education scholarships
  • Nodaway Valley Bank was honored as PCR-3’s Business in Support of Education
  • Stephanie Thompson was recognized as PCR-3’s Volunteer in Support of Education
  • Jim Hanway, Instructor at Northland Career Center, was honored for Excellence in Classroom Teaching
  • Lori Mann, Counselor at Siegrist Elementary, was honored for Excellence in Classroom Teaching
  • Emily Presnell, Paraprofessional at Platte County High School, was honored for Excellence in Service to Education
  • Mike Kwiatkowski, Safety Monitor at Barry School, was honored for Excellence in Service to Education

Other PCR-3 classroom teaching nominees included: Chris Corbin (Platte County High School), Brooke Fisher (Compass Elementary), Jacob Johnson (Platte City Middle School), Sherri Johnson (Great Beginnings), Nicole Stephenson (Barry School), and Leslie White (Pathfinder Elementary).

Other PCR-3 service nominees included: Marci Fine (Pathfinder Elementary), Pam McLain (Platte City Middle School), Ron Webster (Northland Career Center), and Jacob West, (Compass Elementary).

Christa McAuliffe was an American teacher from New Hampshire, who was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986. Past PCR-3 Christa McAuliffe winners include Gay Stuart (1992), Terry Hensley (1996), Amy Young (1999), Lenora Miles (2001), and Bret Bogart (2017).

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.