Congratulations to Gina Calvin, a seventh grade English teacher, who’s been named a 2021 Kansas City Regional Teacher of the Year.

Mrs. Calvin joined the Excelsior Springs School District in 2017 to continue her passion for teaching kids.

“She is a fantastic instructor who creates a learning environment,” says Douglas Baker, assistant principal at the Excelsior Springs Middle School. “She is diligent in including middle school faculty and staff members and the community in the education of her students.”

Mrs. Calvin involves the community in the overall student experience by having her students participate in an annual poetry reading event, hosted in the downtown area of Excelsior Springs. She also includes both the staff and community through her students’ persuasive writing assignment. Students are asked to conduct research on a topic and write a persuasive essay showing their viewpoint and why the issue needs to change.They have discussed school policies with the middle school administrators. The students have also written to local businesses and received several replies.

In addition, to engage the middle school faculty and staff, Mrs. Calvin has her students do a “gift of writing” piece in which they write a letter to staff members letting them know that they are appreciated for the work they do everyday.

“This is a true gift for our faculty/staff as many teachers and administrators receive heart-felt letters, reminding us of the everyday impact we have on students,” says Mr. Baker.

Mrs. Calvin’s dedication and commitment to excellence was recognized at the July Board of Education meeting. She was presented with a certificate of appreciation, along with a gift from the Excelsior Springs Educational Foundation. She is now eligible for the 2021 Missouri Teacher of the Year Award.