R-I teachers, staff named educators of year by Chamber

In an unusual step since the inception of the Palmyra Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year award in 2001, more than one individual will be honored with that award.

Superintendent Kirt Malone accepts, on behalf of the teachers and staff of the Palmyra R-I School District, accepts the Chamber of Commerce Educators of the Year award during a staff meeting Monday.

As a matter of fact, 170 people will be recognized.

This year’s educator of the year is the entire staff at the Palmyra R-I School District.

While more than one individual has been given the award in the past, this is the first time a large group has been recognized for their work above and beyond what is normal.

According to Superintendent  Kirt Malone, the idea came to nominate the entire staff after meeting with his administrators.

“We discussed the Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year Award and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and everything teachers, staff and administrators have had to endure over the last eight months, we would like to nominate the entire Palmyra R-I staff for the teacher of the year award this year,” Malone wrote in his nomination letter.

“The administrative team is confident that every person who works for our school district has gone above and beyond to educate Palmyra R-I students at a high level during the pandemic,” he added. “They have changed routines, learned new methods and stayed positive every day, every week, every month, throughout the spring, summer and fall this year. 

“The administrative team feels that it would be an honor for the entire Palmyra R-I staff to be recognized by our community leaders as the Teacher of the Year for 2020.

Following the presentation of the award, Malone reiterated the statements from his nomination letter.

“I am very happy the Palmyra Chamber of Commerce chose to recognize the Palmyra R-I staff as Educator of the Year for 2020. This year our staff has gone above and beyond by providing distance learning, feeding students during building closures last spring and summer, preparing school buildings for students and providing support to families in the education of their children during a worldwide pandemic. 

“In a time when public school educators receive very little recognition for all the good they do, it is refreshing to know that our local community and its business leaders continue to recognize how valuable the Palmyra R-I staff is to our community.”