MCSS 2020 High School Teacher of the Year

Bethany Petty,Central High School

Bethany Petty is a Christian, wife, mom, high school Social Studies teacher, college instructor, presenter, speaker, blogger, author, reader, runner, and coffee addict! Bethany graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 2008 with her BSEd in Secondary Education with a Social Studies emphasis, and from the University of Missouri - Columbia in 2011 with her Masters in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum. She was honored with the VFW Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year award from VFW Post #5741 and District 8 in Missouri in 2017, and has been a finalist in the EdTech Digest awards in the School Leader category in 2017 and 2019. 

In addition to her teaching career, Bethany is an active member of many committees, including her district’s Professional Development Committee, the Teacher Leadership organization, and her building’s Leadership Team. She also serves her Church wherever she can, serving on the school-church Stakeholder’s Committee and as a volunteer coach.

Bethany’s first book, Illuminate: Technology Enhanced Learning, was published in 2018 and her second book, CREATE: Illuminate Student Voice through Student Choice, will be published in 2020. Bethany, her husband, Issac, and their daughters, Hanna and Molly, live in Farmington. 

MCSS 2020 Middle SchoolTeacher of the Year

James Trusler, Rolla Junior High

James Trusler teaches 7th grade World History and 8th grade Current Events at Rolla Junior High. He graduated from the Missouri University of Science and Technology with a Bachelors of Arts in History with an emphasis on secondary education. He is currently working on his Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Military History from Southern New Hampshire University. Mr. Trusler has had the honor of being selected as one of Missouri’s Outstanding Beginning Teachers in 2019. He has twice been nominated by the students for the Huffman award as a most positive educator. He was the feature article in The Primary Source, the history and political science publication by Missouri University of Science and Technology in Spring 2020. James and his wife Dr. Sara Trusler and the proud parents of four children: James, Austin, Aiden and Lily. 

Do you know someone who should be the next

Teacher of the Year?


We are looking for nominations for the Teacher of the Year.  We are looking for nominees that demonstrate qualities in:

  • developing and using materials creatively and effectively

  • incorporating innovative or verifiable effective instructional strategies and techniques 

  • use of new scholarship in the social studies fields

  • fostering a spirit of inquiry and development of skills related to acquiring, organizing, processing, and using information 

  • fostering the development of democratic beliefs and values needed for citizen participation in the classroom, school, and community settings

  •  activity in workshops, curriculum development, and associations 



Please feel free to email with questions.  Nominations are due by January 21, 2021 no later than 11:59 CST.  


P.O. Box 981

St. Joseph, MO 64502



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