Four of five finalists for SPS Teacher of the Year are Drury graduates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 17, 2017 — Drury University’s commitment to outstanding teacher education will be evident as Springfield Public Schools prepares to name its 2017 Teacher of the Year at a banquet tonight. That’s because four of the five finalists for Teacher of the Year are Drury graduates.

Three of the finalists earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Drury, while a fourth earned a graduate degree. The four teachers are:

Betsy Cannella, an art teacher at Glendale High School. Cannella earned a B.Arch. in Architecture from Drury in 2006 and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2008.

Jenny Talburt, a fourth grade teacher at Pershing Elementary School. Talburt earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Drury in 2001 and Master of Education in Special Reading in 2008.

Gretchen Teague, a communication arts teacher at Central High School. Teague earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Drury in 2006.

Kevin Zimmerman, an art teacher at Harrison Elementary School. Zimmerman earned a B.A. in Fine Arts and Secondary Education from Drury in 2007 and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010.

_w3a9062-editTeague and Cannella remain connected to Drury, as they are currently involved with the longstanding annual summer camps hosted by Drury’s Center for Gifted Education. Talburt is an adjunct instructor at Drury.

“We are so incredibly proud of what these teachers have accomplished in the classroom this year, and throughout their careers,” says Laurie Edmondson, dean of Drury’s School of Education and Child Development. “It’s a testament to Drury to see the kind of impact they are making in the lives of the students. This is exactly why we do what we do each day.”

Vocal music teacher Daniel Gutierrez is the fifth finalist. The finalists were selected from a pool of 77 nominations, according to SPS, and the winner will be eligible to compete at the regional level. Nominated teachers submit an essay describing their philosophy of teaching, which a selection committee uses to choose candidates to participate in face-to-face interviews with the committee. To be eligible, a teacher must have worked for at least four years as a teacher at SPS.

The annual awards banquet is hosted by the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools.

For more information about undergraduate and graduate education programs at Drury, visit: www.drury.edu/education.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Daniel Gutierrez on taking home Teacher of the Year honors.

###