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WSD Announces District Teacher of the Year

Jennifer Willis-Nichols


The WSD announced Jennifer Willis-Nichols, a science teacher at North Point High School, as the 2021 Wentzville School District Teacher of the Year.


“Jennifer Willis-Nichols is positive, passionate, innovative, and kind,” said Amanda Shelmire, North Point High School principal. “She cares deeply for her students and their growth in the classroom. She goes above and beyond to ensure her students feel heard and valued.”


Willis-Nichols, who has worked for the WSD since 2016, was also named the 2019 Canvas Teacher of the Year for her understanding of the importance of students engaging with tools like Canvas (the District’s learning management system) in preparation for what is to come as many colleges and careers have their own learning platforms.  


During the District Teacher of the Year process, each school selected their Teacher of the Year and announced it during American Education Week, November 15-19. 


The 2021 WSD building Teachers of the Year are: 


  • Barfield EC SPED Center: Dr. Melissa Rothschild (psychological examiner)
  • Boone Trail: Andrea Twillman (special education teacher)
  • Crossroads: Lindsey Remiger (special education teacher)
  • Discovery Ridge: Dr. Lindsay Burkemper (school support interventionist)
  • Duello: Sarah McDowell (kindergarten teacher)
  • Green Tree: Tracey Webb (sixth-grade math teacher)
  • Heritage Primary: Dr. Carolyn Samuelson (special education teacher)
  • Heritage Intermediate: Suzanne Piper (third-grade teacher)
  • Journey: Kim Gonzales  (special education teacher)
  • Lakeview: Katie Schlichter (fourth-grade virtual teacher)
  • Peine Ridge: Erica Walker (second-grade teacher)
  • Prairie View: Samantha Miller (special education teacher)
  • Stone Creek: Taylor Wade (fifth-grade teacher)
  • Wabash: Lorin Lasater (third-grade teacher)
  • Frontier MS: Julie Post (special education teacher)
  • South MS: Christine Gnandt (special education teacher)                    
  • Wentzville MS: Jennifer Werner (physical education teacher)
  • Holt HS: Lisa Bopp (social studies teacher)
  • Liberty HS: Denys Jolliff  (special education teacher)
  • North Point HS: Jennifer Willis-Nichols (science/PLTW teacher)
  • Timberland HS: Teresa Durbala (family & consumer sciences teacher)
  • Pearce Hall: Lauren Wahle (alternative program teacher)
  • REACH Center: Stefani Icardi (special education teacher)

The building Teachers of the Year went through an application and interview process to be considered for District Teacher of the Year. Candidates were judged on their ability to inspire and educate students of all backgrounds and abilities, as well as their ability to lead and inspire their colleagues. 


As the winner of the District Teacher of the Year, Willis-Nichols is now eligible to compete at the regional and state level in the Missouri Teacher of the Year program, which is conducted annually by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in conjunction with the National Teacher of the Year program.


All building Teachers of the Year were celebrated and the District winner was announced at the Dec. 16 Board of Education meeting.