Harrisonville Scholl District Awards

The Harrisonville School District recently recognized several year-end award winners during surprise presentations at building staff meetings.

Harrisonville Schools gifted education teacher Laura Frees was named the Educator of the Year, Harrisonville High School special education teacher Amy Wilson received the district’s newest awards, Rising Star; and Harrisonville High School registrar Cassie Diehl was recognized as the Support Staff Employee of the Year.

Frees has worked in our district for 22 years. She started as a middle school science teacher for 11 years and has been the district gifted teacher for the last 11 years.

Frees was selected for the honor by a panel of judges from outside the community who interviewed six finalists. The finalists were chosen by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation and district administration selection committee from nominations received from parents, students, and Harrisonville Schools’ staff members.

The judges said, “Laura has a depth of experience that sets her apart. She’s a ‘stand alone’ in terms of her department, but she works hard to find ways to be engaged with the full staff at HMS. She makes herself available both to parents, mentors new teachers, and looks for opportunities to improve, not only her students’ learning experience, but her co-workers’ job experience and she is the ultimate professional.”

The Harrisonville Public School Foundation will provide Frees with a $500 grant.

The Rising Star Award is a new award which seeks to recognize teachers in their first five years of teaching and has already demonstrated the ability to have a positive impact on students. Amy Wilson is in her third year of teaching; however she spent five years as a paraprofessional before that.

Her nomination said, “Amy has done a fabulous job in the Life Skills program at HHS! Since day one of being hired she has worked diligently to better the life skills program not only at HHS but across the district. She has quickly become a resource for fellow colleagues and someone that many fellow educators look up to. Each year Amy works to better her teaching, instruction and experiences for students and is always looking for feedback, opportunities and strategies on how to better serve her students.”

Wilson received a $100 award from Community Bank of Harrisonville.

The Support Staff Employee of the Year, Cassie Diehl, has worked as the registrar at HHS for five years. Her nomination said, “Cassie is fierce in her support of the students. The students know she is there for them and supportive of them. She offers a safe space for many of them. As a co-worker, Cassie has our backs. When we do not know the answer to a question, she is our go-to person. If she does not know the answer, she figures it out. She is a true asset to our school!”

Diehl received a $100 award from Sherwood Community Bank.

All the winners will be recognized on plaques at the district’s administrative offices.