Criqui recognized as MdCV 2024 teacher of the year – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Criqui recognized as MdCV 2024 teacher of the year

Melissa Criqui, MdCV kindergarten teacher, center, was recognized as USD 456’s teacher of the year during the recent Kansas Region 2 Teacher of the Year award ceremony, by Randy Watson, Kansas Commissioner of Education, left, and Aaron Tallen, assistant vice president of inside sales for Security Benefit, right. Courtesy photo.

During the 2024 Kansas Region 2 Teacher of the Year award ceremony Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Topeka, Kan., Melissa Criqui, longtime kindergarten teacher at Marais des Cygnes Valley Elementary School, Quenemo, was recognized as the school district’s teacher of the year for 2024.

The Teacher of the Year Award recognizes excellence in teaching in elementary and secondary classrooms of the state. At the awards banquet, two finalists and six semi-finalists were named from Region 2, which covers the 2nd U.S. Congressional District.

Criqui has taught kindergarten for 17 years at Marais des Cygnes Valley. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Ottawa University and is currently working on her Master of Educational Leadership degree at Pittsburg State University.

Criqui knows the importance of solid behavior management in a kindergarten class and uses “warm fuzzies” or pom poms to keep track of positive behavior. She believes “It is so important to have a behavior management program that works for all of my students, is positive, and increases their chances to learn.”

Fonda Telthorst, a music teacher at Piper Prairie Elementary School, Piper Unified School District 203, and Cherryl Delacruz, a mathematics teacher at Highland Park High School, Topeka USD 501, were named Region 2 finalists for 2024 Kansas Teacher of the Year. Finalists receive a $2,000 cash award from Security Benefit, a partner for the awards program.

Named as a semifinalist for Region 2 was Elizabeth Olorunfemi, first-grade teacher at Overbrook Attendance Center, Santa Fe Trail USD 434. Other semifinalists are Olga McAlpine, a fourth-grade teacher at Jackson Heights Elementary School, North Jackson Heights USD 335; Jessica Greenfield, a chemistry and physics teacher at Humboldt High School, Humboldt USD 258; and Robert Jackson, a science teacher at Seaman Middle School, Seaman USD 345.

Criqui was one of 124 teachers statewide to be named as teacher of the year in their respective school districts.

Information thanks to MdCV and KSDE.

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