Last year, KCPS principal Dr. Jo Nemeth and the Office Depot Foundation named KCPS elementary teacher Mrs. Lynn Heibel-Raynor “Teacher of the Year.” The award is part of the Office Depot Foundation’s A Day Made Better program, which recognizes dedicated teachers in Title I and similar high-need elementary schools, supporting them in their commitment to make a difference.
Mrs. Raynor joined the Culturally Responsive Instruction for English Learners project in January 2014 and is now earning her ESOL Certification at Webster University. She accepted the award in a ceremony with her students, colleagues, and family. Below is the copy of the award notification posted by the foundation on the Day Made Better program website (which is no longer available).
Ms. Raynor is an excellent and hardworking teacher who believes her students can accomplish anything they set their minds to. Her hard work and dedication have paid off, and Mrs. Raynor has been featured in Pearson Reading videos and on the website PD360. Her classroom door states that her students will graduate from high school in 2025 and from college in 2029. Her classroom is filled with high expectations learning charts, criteria charts, and rubrics. Student work, completed to high expectations and rigor, line the classroom walls and the hallway outside the room.
Mrs. Raynor also mentors new and beginning teachers that are on the primary level and shares advice and materials so they get a good start out the gate. Teachers across the district often come and observe her during the day so they can view an exemplary classroom. Mrs. Raynor has six certifications and 35 years of teaching experience. Mrs. Raynor has inspired her two adult children who also are teachers in the Kansas City Public Schools, so it’s fair to say that great teaching runs in the family.
Webster celebrates this dedicated teacher and grant participant with pride. Congratuations, Mrs. Raynor!
Photos provided courtesy of Mrs. Heibel-Raynor.