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Northwest R-I School District Names 2023-24 Award Winners and Teachers of the Year

The Northwest R-I School District has announced their award winners and Teachers of the Year for the 2023-24 school year. 

Winners of the Golden Bell Award are Jen Barr, custodian at the Northwest Administrative Center, Barb Kruse, administrative assistant at Valley Middle School, and Valerie Soer, paraprofessional at the Northwest Early Childhood Center.

The winners of the Apple Award are Christine Snell, elementary school diagnostician, Kim Sult, district director of instruction, and Kyle Wampler, director of activities at Northwest High School.

Dr. Jennifer Hecktor congratulates Staci VenattaThe PreK-Elementary Teacher of the Year is Staci Venatta, special education teacher at Murphy Elementary School. The Middle School Teacher of the Year is Jake Buddemeyer, social studies teacher at Valley Middle School. The High School Teacher of the Year is Kate Hermann, English and language arts teacher at Northwest High School. 

The PRIDE Award goes to Deputy Andrew Dennis from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. 

All award winners are nominated by staff and community members, with a selection committee determining the winners. Golden Bell and Apple Award winners are for support staff and certified teachers who show excellent character, performance, and service to the district. Teachers of the Year have been employed by the Northwest district for at least four years, show enthusiasm and knowledge for their discipline, display strong teaching and communication skills, dedication, and pride in their work. The PRIDE Award winner is a community member or patron who goes above and beyond in their impact and benefit to the district. 

The winners will be officially recognized at the district award ceremony in April. Visit our YouTube channel to see the winners' reactions.