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2024-25 Winners

2024-25 Annual District Awards Winners

Congratulations to the two outstanding and exemplary employees, Teacher of the Year, Lauren Hurst, and Support Staff Employee of the Year, Kris Capell-Deady

Teacher of the Year, Lauren Hurst,  Raytown High School

Lauren Hurst is a Spanish teacher at Raytown High School. She has 12 years of experience with eight of them being at Raytown High. Lauren has always had a passion for the Spanish language and culture and works to show students the world outside the classroom walls and how they can be a responsible member of society. “My class is known to be very active and engaged and a welcoming space for the large majority of our students.” Lauren is most proud of being honored with the Seal of Biliteracy (SoBL). This has given her students the proof to show their proficiency in Spanish and use it for post-secondary education or their careers. In addition to her leadership role as department chair at Raytown High, she is also involved with numerous non-profit organizations that support RQS schools like Raytown Educational Foundation, English Language Learner Family Night and Raytown Emergency Assistance Program. 


Support Staff Employee of the Year, Kris Capell-Deady, Raytown Central Middle School

Kris Capell-Deady is the lead custodian at Raytown Central Middle School. This is her second year in her role and she enjoys helping wherever there is a need. Kris shares that her role is to make sure the building is clean and safe - inside and out, and she recognizes that her work has a large impact on the ability of teachers and students to have a nice, clean and safe space that they can be proud of each and every day. Her colleagues share, “Kris is a gifted leader. She is looked up to by peers and respected for her communication skills, passion, and her determination.” Her building principal describes Kris as a gifted leader saying, “Ms. Kris takes pride in her work, even though it's a job requiring significant physical labor. As soon as she knows what we need or want, she is ready to make it happen.” On top of her busy days, she can often be found working late to help set up for special events.

2024-25 Building Teachers of the Year  

Congratulations to all of the 2024-25 Building Teachers of the Year (listed in reverse alphabetical order by school):

  • Courtney Wattenbarger, 2nd grade teacher at Westridge
  • Erica VandeVyvere, kindergarten teacher at Spring Valley
  • Grace Waddell, 3rd grade teacher at Southwood
  • Rachel Fowler, Reading Specialist at Robinson 
  • Staci Humphreys, math teacher at Raytown Success Academy
  • Riché Deatherage, social studies teacher at Raytown South Middle
  • Whitney Wells, librarian at Raytown South High
  • Alyssa Contreras, English teacher at Raytown Middle
  • Michele Walters, math teacher at Raytown Central Middle
  • Shoneitta Thomas, Connections Academy teacher at Norfleet
  • Erin King, Resource teacher at Little Blue
  • Justin Berger, 3rd grade teacher at Laurel Hills
  • Dr. Erin Rowland, intro to physical therapy & sports medicine instructor at Herndon Career Center
  • Elinor Arens, 1st grade teacher at Fleetridge 
  • Libby Jones, 1st grade teacher at Eastwood Hills
  • Erin Snowden, 5th grade teacher at Blue Ridge

2024-25 Support Staff Employee of the Year Building Nominees

Congratulations to all of the 2024-25 Support Staff Employee of the Year (listed in alphabetical order by school):

  • Clarissa Wicker, lead payroll/ benefits coordinator at the Administrative Building
  • Brandy Summers, cafeteria manager at Blue Ridge 
  • Laura Harkness, social worker at Eastwood Hills
  • Jim Schorgl, lead maintenance specials for Facility Operations
  • Whitney Heim, secretary at Fleetridge 
  • Melissa Zuniga, interventionist at Laurel Hills 
  • Sierra Sanders, head custodian at Little Blue
  • Lexi Meyer, nurse at New Trails 
  • Dominique Agee, interventionist at Norfleet
  • Lisa Peterson, instructional assistant at Northwood 
  • David Barrett, custodian at Raytown High
  • Rachael Hackler, social worker at Raytown Middle
  • Da’Juan Beard, interventionist at Raytown South High
  • Adrianne Mason, instructional assistant at Raytown South Middle
  • Regina Grant, day custodian at Robinson
  • Lushanyah Burmaster, instructional assistant at Southwood
  • Angela Perry, secretary at Spring Valley
  • Zach Lee, entry level technician for Technology
  • Angie Collins, instructional assistant at Three Trails Preschool
  • Jesse Robinson, bus driver for Transportation
  • Tiah Griffin, special education instructional assistant at Westridge