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SJSD surprises their 2020 finalists for Teacher of the Year

Two of the finalists for St. Joseph School District's Teacher of the Year were announced Friday morning and it's fair to say they were surprised.

Posted: May 15, 2020 4:03 PM
Updated: May 16, 2020 2:52 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Some St. Joseph teachers were surprised with more than just a shiny red apple. 

St. Joseph School District announced their Teacher of the Year finalists this week: 

  • Heather Wiedmer from Carden Park Elementary
  • Angie Klaassen from Webster Learning Center
  • Colin Pettegrew from Robidoux Middle School 

Two of the finalists for St. Joseph School District's Teacher of the Year were announced Friday morning and it's fair to say they were surprised. 

“It’s quite a surprise. I didn’t expect it,”said Angie Klaassen, Teacher of the Year finalist from Webster Learning Center. 

Colin Pettegrew, the finalist from Robidoux Middle School said while he was shocked, he had a sneaking suspicion.

“Maybe hints here and there now that I think back on it. No, I just thought I was coming to school to take a look at some textbooks that have been turned in, so it’s a big surprise. No, I didn’t expect this at all,”said Pettegrew. 

15 teachers throughout the district applied for the honor and while the selection committee comprised of past winners said all this years' applicants are deserving of the title, these finalists stood out as A+ teachers. 

“It's just sometimes you read something and it clings to your heart,”said Corinne Russell, 2019's Teacher of the Year.

The 2020 finalists said being recognized for their efforts is an honor. 

“Figured because I don’t teach in a traditional classroom setting that I wasn’t even on the table for such an honor recognition, so I was very surprised this morning,”said Klaassen. 

The finalists attribute their success to their fellow peers. 

“I learn a lot from my colleagues, probably way more than they would ever learn from me. I just really love what I do. It feels really good to be recognized, but I in part feel like I’m the teacher I am because of the people that I learn from here at Robidoux,”said Pettegrew. 

The three finalists will have their final interviews on Wednesday.

The selection committee said the winner will be announced at a later date. 

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Temperatures and humidity will continue to climb on Wednesday making it feel like a very humid day across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Temperatures will warm into the mid to upper 80s and increasing moisture and instability. This will likely mean shower and thunderstorm chances for the remainder of Thursday and Thursday night.
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