Return to Headlines

Raytown School District announces Teacher of the Year

Herndon Career Center culinary instructor Chef Mike Chrostowski has been named the Raytown School District Teacher of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year. Chrostowski, is a 14 year educator and received his degree from Pittsburgh State University. He just completed his third year as the culinary instructor at Herndon Career Center. 

Chef Chrostowski led the culinary team to state titles in 2018, 2019, and 2020, a national title in 2018, and national runner-up title in 2019, and the team qualified for nationals in 2020. In the last three years, students on the culinary and management teams have earned a combined total of $2,224,000 in scholarship funds.

In her letter of support, Director of Herndon Career Center Dr. Cheryl Reichert said, “Chef has really set the tone for our staff and students in ensuring that they know that the expectation on a daily basis is to give your very best effort and push yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of achieving. 

The judges described Chrostowski as dedicated to preparing and equipping students with the tools they need to accomplish their career goals. Students are on the pathway to successful futures thanks to the guidance provided by Chrostowski.

“When I was nominated by the faculty at the Herndon Career Center for teacher of the year I was truly honored. I work with some truly amazing educators that inspire me to be better and challenge me to keep up with them. It feels great to be a part of that conversation. To find out I was selected to represent Raytown is something I thought I would never see happen,” said Chrostowski. “So much of this award will be shared by the staff I work with, my family that supports me unconditionally, and to current and former students who challenge me to teach them a skill and a craft that will last them a lifetime, for that I am truly humbled.” 

Building Teacher of the Year nominations for 2020-2021 include Dallas Bauer, Raytown Success Academy; Dee Brummer, Robinson Elementary; Chef Mike Chrostowski, Herndon Career Center; Melanie Dowell, Raytown High School; Terri Elmore, Laurel Hills Elementary; Jennifer Ernst, Raytown Middle School; Sarah Halsey-Rogers, Spring Valley Elementary; Laura Homan, Blue Ridge Elementary; Megan Jackman, Raytown South Middle School; Samantha Johnson, Raytown Central Middle School; Ashley Jones, Norfleet Elementary; Ryan Morrill, Fleetridge Elementary; Starla Myers, Little Blue Elementary; Sean Nunn, Raytown South High School; Ariel Strahle, Eastwood Hills Elementary; Lyndsey Swierczek, Westridge Elementary; and Kristin Wilson, Southwood Elementary.


Chrostowski will represent the District in the Regional Teacher of the Year selection process and will deliver a speech at the District’s annual back to school Convocation in August.