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JC Schools Announces 2023 Eisinger Teacher of the Year Award Finalists

JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City School District and JC Schools Foundation are excited to announce the six educators selected as the 2023 Eisinger Teacher of the Year award finalists as well as four Life Changing Educator recipients. 

The Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, composed of Jefferson City area community members, selects six finalists based on written applications submitted in February, who then move on to an interview process. The Eisinger Teacher of the Year and Eisinger Outstanding Educator award recipients will be named and recognized during an awards ceremony on April 25 at the Miller Performing Arts Center. Teacher of the Year Graphic

“Every single teacher within the Jefferson City School District has the power to change the lives of their students and grow them into champions,” said JC Schools Superintendent Bryan McGraw. “Our Teacher of the Year finalists serve as a representation of the incredible work taking place within all of our schools on a daily basis. I commend these finalists, and all of our teachers, for the influential work they do and their commitment to building a District of Champions.”

Don and Linda Eisinger established the Eisinger Teacher of the Year and Outstanding Educator awards in 2015 with plans to support the awards for a total of 15 years. The Life Changing Educator Award was introduced in 2021, also established by the Eisingers. The Life Changing Educator Award was created in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and school closures. The gift recognizes the importance of and need for in-person classroom teachers. 


Crystal Duryea, Lewis and Clark Middle School 

Crystal Duryea earned a bachelor of science in middle school education from Missouri State University. She received her masters degree of curriculum, teaching and instruction from the University of Missouri. Duryea taught in the Waynesville School District for three years and North Callaway School District for three years before joining the Jefferson City School District. She has taught at Lewis and Clark Middle School for 14 years where she teaches 6th grade mathematics.

Toree Hamilton, Belair Elementary School 

Toree Hamilton earned her bachelor of science degree in elementary and special education and her master of education in elementary guidance and counseling from Lincoln University. She earned her specialist in educational leadership K-12 from Northwest Missouri State University. Hamilton has been at Belair for 22 years. She began as a 5th grade regular classroom teacher, seven years later she became the special education resource teacher and held that position for 10 years. The past five years, she has been the K-5 professional school counselor. Hamilton attended Belair as a student and did her CIE student work release at Belair. While completing her undergraduate, she worked at Belair as a teacher’s aide and paraprofessional. 

Lindsey Kingsolver, Lewis and Clark Middle School 

An 8th grade social studies teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School, Lindsey Kingsolver earned her bachelor of science in education with emphasis in social studies education, master of science in education with emphasis in curriculum and instruction and her education specialist with emphasis in education technology all from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. She has 10 years experience in education with four of those years at Lewis and Clark. Kingsolver began her teaching career at Linn County R-I.

Amber Moore, Nichols Career Center 

Chef Amber Moore attended the University of Central Missouri-CTE and  the Florida Culinary Institute. She began her career with the Culinary Institute of Virginia, Lincoln Culinary in Florida and Suncoast in Florida before joining Nichols Career Center. Chef Moore has been teaching juniors and seniors for the past nine years in the Nichols Culinary Arts Program. 

Terri Muenks, Jefferson City Academic Center 

Terri Muenks has been teaching math for 13 years at Jefferson City Academic Center. She received her bachelor of science in elementary education from University of Missouri, Columbia and her masters in elementary education from Lincoln University. Muenks has taught for 30 years beginning in Linn, Missouri at St. George School followed by Osage County R-II. 

Lisa Wieberg, Southwest Early Childhood Center 

Lisa Wieberg earned her bachelor of science in english and her masters in elementary education from Truman State in Kirksville. She also has a masters in early childhood special education from University of Missouri in Columbia. Wieberg has been with the district for 14 years, 12 years as an early childhood special education teacher and two years as a paraprofessional/classroom aide. She also taught at Holy Family School in Freeburg and St. Martin’s Elementary. 


The Life Changing Educator Awards will go to: David Gale, Jefferson City High School history teacher; Kelsey Hile, Thomas Jefferson Middle School physical education teacher; Lisa Maloney, Southwest Early Childhood Center preschool teacher; and Katherine Rustemeyer, Thomas Jefferson Middle School social studies teacher.

For more information, contact Peyton Orban, Executive Director, JC Schools Foundation at 659-3549.