KCKPS Salutes 2017 Teachers of the Year as Part of National Teacher Appreciation Week

May 11, 2017


Contact: Melissa Fears, Director of Communications & Marketing, (913) 279-2225

As we celebrate the importance of all teachers and their positive impact during National Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re shining a spotlight on the school district’s recently announced 2017 Teachers of Year – Angelica Soto of McKinley Elementary School and Eli Jones of Eisenhower Middle School. Both teachers are examples of the teaching excellence available at Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools.

Angelica Sotoweb

Angelica Soto

Soto, a 3rd grade teacher at McKinley since 2014, is known for using a variety of methods to teach her students, such as using the student’s native language to teach vocabulary concepts and hand gestures to facilitate understanding in science and social studies. Through her curriculum, she instills acceptance, diversity and cultural pride as her third-grade teacher had done for her during her elementary education.

“Every night, no matter how long and strenuous my day has been, I turn off the light to my classroom knowing I am makig a difference in the lives of my students, children who will someday make an impact in their own community, country and the world,” she said. Previously, she was a teacher a Grant Elementary from 2012 – 2014.

Eli Jonesweb

Eli Jones

Jones has been vocal music teacher for 6th, 7th and 8th graders at Eisenhower Middle School since 2011. His career experience taught him that his strongest and most important skill as a teacher is building and maintaining positive relationships. “True learning – the transformational kind that gets students excited to go to school each day and really impacts their lives – only occurs when trusting relationships exist between teacher and students. This is the foundation for everything I do as an educator. Relationships and people first. Music and content second.”

Each year, staff in the district’s schools nominate one educator for the Kansas Teacher of the Year program. These names are compiled into a list of “Star Teachers.” In 2017, 48 district teachers were honored for their exceptional work in the classroom and their dedication to the district at the Star Teacher Celebration on April 26.

The list of “Star Teachers” is then reviewed by a committee consisting of teachers, administrators and a representative from the National Education Association – Kansas City, Kansas. The committee selects one elementary and one secondary nomination to honor as KCKPS Teachers of the Year. These two teachers’ nominations are then forwarded on to the Kansas Teacher of the Year program.

Congratulations to Angelica Soto and Eli Jones!

This is another way in which Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Inspire Excellence: Every Grownup, Every Child, Every Day.  

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242