Shawnee announces 2021 Teacher of the Year nominees

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Hannah Jett
Jessica Brown
Kristie Carter-Heilaman
Lindsay Dennis
Mary McCune
Misty Rendleman
Sandra Bradley
Tara Wilson

Shawnee Public Schools has announced the eight nominees for the district's 2021 Teacher of the Year award.

According to SPS Superintendent Dr. April Grace, the district is proud of these educators and all they have accomplished.

"They were chosen by their peers to represent their schools because they are gifted teachers who make a difference in the lives of students each and every day," Grace said. "Each one of them exemplifies the teaching excellence we celebrate at Shawnee Public Schools."

According to SPS Public Information Officer Cherity Pennington, the eight nominees were selected as the Teacher of the Year at their individual school sites.

Pennington said the Teacher of the Year finalists are as follows:

• Sandra Bradley is the Teacher of the Year nominee from Horace Mann Elementary School and has been a special education teacher for fourth and fifth graders for 25 years, five of which have been at Horace Mann.

• Jessica Brown is the Teacher of the Year nominee from Shawnee Middle School and has taught sixth grade language arts for 11 years at SMS.

• Kristi Carter-Heilaman is the Teacher of the Year nominee for Sequoyah Elementary School and the library media specialist at Sequoyah. She has taught for 33 years.

• Lindsay Dennis is the Teacher of the Year nominee for Shawnee High School and teaches English II and yearbook. Dennis is in her eleventh year of teaching and has taught at SHS for four years.

• Hannah Jett is the Teacher of the Year nominee for the Shawnee Early Childhood Center. She teaches pre-kindergarten and has taught for the last five years.

• Mary McCune is the Teacher of the Year nominee for Jefferson Elementary School and a fourth-grade teacher with seven years of teaching experience.

• Misty Rendleman is the Teacher of the Year nominee for Jim Thorpe Academy. Rendleman teaches business computers, desktop publishing, digital art, multimedia and health and fitness and has taught at JTA for nine years.

• Tara Wilson is the Teacher of the Year nominee for Will Rogers Elementary School and has taught music at Will Rogers for 17 years.

Pennington said all nominees will be honored and one educator will be named the district's 2021 Teacher of the Year during a small reception the evening of March 8 at the SHS Performing Arts and Athletic Center.

In addition, Pennington said due to COVID-19, a limited number of people will attend the event, including the nominees, their families, building administrators, central office employees and board of education members.

The reception will be in the foyer of the PAAC and masks will be required.

Pennington said more details of the event will be released as it draws closer. Check back for updates.