Harrisonville Schools-Kelly, Hillbrant recognized with end-of-the-year awards

The Harrisonville School District recently recognized year-end award winners with surprise parades and virtual announcements.

Cass Career Center Criminal Justice/CSI instructor Chandra Kelly was named the Educator of the Year and McEowen Elementary nurse Jace Hillbrant was recognized as the Support Staff Employee of the Year.

Kelly has taught at CCC for four years. Prior to teaching, Officer Kelly worked for the Olathe and Overland Park Police Departments. She volunteers as the leader of the Police Explorers program with the Harrisonville Police Department and coaches softball and girls’ wrestling at HHS. She is also a Harrisonville High School alum.

Kelly was selected for the honor by a panel of judges from outside the community who interviewed five 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.

Nominations for Kelly said, “Officer Kelly is an exceptional teacher, she is very passionate about what she teaches. She goes above and beyond to help her students when they are in need, either inside of the classroom or outside of the classroom. She teaches her students how to value others as equals and she conducts her class with a professionalism that helps the students flourish. She is also her students’ number one supporter when it comes to anything and everything. ”

The Harrisonville Public School Foundation presented Kelly with a $500 grant.

Hillbrant was also selected by a panel of outside judges from three finalists. She is in her fourth year in the district.

Her nominations cited the following.

“Jace shows a level of respect, caring, and compassion to every student who comes into her office. She provides them with a safe person to go to when life is hard. Whether a student comes to her office with a legitimate concern or is clearly just trying to avoid class, she treats them with compassion. Jace is a gem that the Harrisonville School District is lucky to have.”

Hillbrant received a $100 award from Sherwood Community Bank.

Both honorees will be recognized with plaques in the district office and a banners at their schools.