Wheaton teacher nominated for state teacher's award
Jason Navarro, history teacher at Wheaton High School, is one of seven finalists for the Missouri Teacher of the Year Award, to be presented on Oct. 21 in Jefferson City.
Navarro became eligible for the state award after being named the Wheaton R-3 District Teacher of the Year last year.
"I'm one of 70,000 educators in the state who was eligible for this award," Navarro said. "It's an honor to be among the seven finalists."
Navarro is the first educator from the Wheaton R-3 District to be nominated for such an award.
"I'm nervous," Navarro said. "I'm going up against some great educators."
Not only will Navarro be representing Wheaton School District, but all of southwest Missouri.
"Five of the other nominees are from the St. Louis area and the sixth nominee is from Camdenton," Navarro said. "The competition includes teachers at all levels of education and specialty courses, too. I hope to represent the school well."
As a finalist, Navarro has been invited to attend the dinner in Jefferson City accompanied by Superintendent Dr. Lance Massey, Mike Evans, high school principal and Larry Prewitt, president of the R-3 school board, in addition to his wife and family.
"Everyone in the district has been very supportive, offering thoughts and prayers when I went up for the interview process," Navarro said. "It's pretty exciting.
"I had butterflies for the one-on-one interviews," he continued. "I was nervous about the whole process."
The application for the state award included 12 pages of essays on topics affecting education, three letters of recommendation and the application.
"It was pretty intensive," Navarro said. "But I'm hoping this will open doors for other area teachers to consider. It's good for smaller schools to achieve that kind of recognition when competing against bigger districts like St. Louis and Kansas City.
"I appreciate everyone in the community and my administrators for supporting me in this effort," Navarro said. "It lets you know how much people appreciate what you do."