Outstanding SPS Reading Teachers Receive 2019 Turner Reading Awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – “A love of books and reading. Creatively engaging students in reading. Dedication to the needs of all learners.” Those are just some of the shared characteristics of this year’s Turner Reading Award recipients.

2019, marked the 18th year for the Turner Reading Awards, managed by the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools (FSPS) and given annually to five, outstanding Springfield Public Schools (SPS) reading teachers. Established and supported by the Turner family of Springfield, the awards include a cash prize for all five winning teachers and their schools.  Teachers who show excellence in teaching reading and literature in the classroom, and instill in a love of learning to read in their students are awarded the prestigious honor.

Photo: 2019 Turner Reading Award Recipients L to R: Liz Eason – Weller Elementary, Kendall Bennett – Jarrett Middle School, Rachel Hoing – Watkins Elementary, Shondra Collins – York Elementary, Marc Mayer Foundation for SPS Board President, Alyssa Wicklund – Westport Middle School.

Earlier in the year, nominations for the Turner Reading Awards were submitted by SPS educator peers and the public. Nominees completed a questionnaire detailing their accomplishments in the classroom and a panel of judges selected the recipients.

Marc Mayer, FSPS President presented the awards to this year’s recipients at the Foundation’s March board meeting. SPS teachers receiving the prestigious reading instruction award for 2019 were:

  • Rachel Hoing – Watkins Elementary, Kindergarten
  • Shondra Collins – York Elementary, 5th Grade
  • Alyssa Wicklund – Westport Middle School, 6th Grade
  • Liz Eason – Weller, Reading Interventionist K-2
  • Kendall Bennett – Jarrett Middle School, 6 & 8th Grade

“We’re thankful to be able to help recognize the importance of reading in the lives of all SPS students through the Turner Reading Awards,” said Natalie Murdock, Executive Director of the Foundation for SPS. “and also show appreciation to these outstanding teachers for their excellent and dedicated work to engage their students in reading and literature.”