Cape Educators of the Year honored

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Representative Donna Lichtenegger
Cape Public Schools Superintendent Jim Welker
Honoree – Stacy Stapleton
Honoree – Lee Ann Norris
Honoree – Marty Vines
Honoree – Dr. John Kraemer
Cape Chamber Education Committee Selection Chair - Angie Umfleet (Chap Arnold Insurance)
State Senator Jason Crowell
Southeast Missouri State University President – Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins

The Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce Education Committee honored four educators at the Educator Appreciation Reception on Tuesday evening at The Venue.

Lee Ann Norris, Stacy Stapleton, Marty Vines, and Dr. John Kraemer were named 2012 Educators of the Year.

According to Tim Arbeiter, vice president for Community Development at the Chamber of Commerce, this is the 19th Annual Educator of the Year Awards.

"The reception is a time to pause to honor all the educators in the area, including private, public, and university," Arbeiter said.

Teachers are nominated by the community, he said. Nominees submit completed applications in mid-July. The review committee, comprised of volunteers from the chamber membership, selects three teachers from Cape Girardeau public school and one from Southeast Missouri State University.

Kraemer is a professor in the Department of Biology in the College of Science and Mathematics at Southeast. He received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health Science from Indiana State University. He also received his Master of Science in Community Health/Environmental Health/Individual Hygiene and his doctorate in Health Services from Old Dominion University.

"It's wonderful to be recognized for your teaching abilities," Kraemer said. "I'm very proud to represent the university."

Stapleton has been teaching third grade at Jefferson Elementary School for seven years. She has a Master of Arts Degree from Nova Southeastern University, a Bachelor of Science Degree from Sterling College, and an Associate Degree from Hutchinson Community College.

"I love what I do, I'm proud of what I do so it's nice to get a pat on the back," said the Kansas native.

Vines teaches social studies at Cape Central High School.

"My first degree was in criminal justice," Vines said. "I got into law enforcement for several years, got married, and then had children. My wife said you always enjoyed teaching, and you're good at explaining things, so she talked me into it."

Vines went back to school to receive a Master of Education from William Woods University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education at Southeast. He also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Southeast.

Norris has been a special services teacher at Cape Central High School since 2005. Norris said she has been teaching for over 30 years, and always taught children who had special needs.

"I do it because I find it interesting. I know that every day is going to be different from the next," she said. "I really enjoy working with children who need a little bit of extra help. It is very rewarding especially when the children make progress."

Norris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Southeast and a certification in Exceptional Child Education with K-12 certification for the Trainable and Severely Handicapped.

Norris said she is very humbled by this process, and appreciates the recognition.

All four teachers received a Crystal Apple Award, a $500 check, and were featured in a tribute video during the reception.

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