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February 2016
Dear Top 10 by 20 Supporter:

In this month's Top 10 Talk with Commissioner, Commissioner Margie Vandeven discusses the many influences of student success, of which one of the most important is effective teachers. Read about the impact of effective teachers and how they make an difference in the lives of our children every day.


St. Louis Cardinals Stephen Piscotty Supports Top 10 by 20

Stephen Piscotty, outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, shares his views on why education is important on and off the field and how we can all help Missouri reach its goal of being in the top 10 states for education by 2020.  Watch his Public Service Announcement


Missouri Lifelong Learning Month

Governor Nixon issued a proclamation designating the month of February as "Missouri Lifelong Learning Month" and recommends that it be observed with appropriate activities in the public schools to promote public awareness of the importance of ongoing education throughout each person's lifetime.  Read the Governor’s Proclamation

Goal #1- All Missouri students will graduate college and career ready.           

Schools Recognized for Professional Learning
Sixteen schools from across the state have been named Professional Learning Communities Exemplary Schools for outstanding performance in implementing professional learning. The schools, which promote cultures focused on collaborative learning while effectively using data to increase student achievement, will be recognized during the Powerful Learning Conference Jan. 25-26 at Lake of the Ozarks. Read more

What's Happening Around the State?
Schools in Missouri continue to successfully prepare students for life after high school. See what Wentzville, Normandy and Ritenour are accomplishing to help students reach their goals and make Missouri a top 10 state for education.

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month
Each February, the
Association for Career and Technical Education recognizes CTE Month and celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country. This year’s theme is "Opportunities for Career Success,” which promotes the stories of leadership and excellence of local CTE programs and raises awareness of the crucial role that CTE plays in readying our students for careers and our nation for economic success. Missouri Career Education combines academics and occupational skill training to better prepare students of all ages for the job market. Check out our updated fact sheet about CTE in Missouri.

Goal #2 - All Missouri children will enter kindergarten prepared to be successful in school.                

Missouri Preschool Program
The Early Learning section is making available funding for the Missouri Preschool Program (MPP) through a competitive grant process with applications due Feb. 22, 2016.  The Department has designated funding to promote high quality early care and education programs for children one or two years from kindergarten eligibility.  Additional information regarding this funding

Resources from the National Association for the Education of Young Children

Conference on the Young Years
We look forward to welcoming Maurice Sykes to Missouri for the Conference on the Young Years, March 12th.  Sykes is author of “Doing the Right Thing for Children: Eight Qualities of Leadership.”  He is also the Executive Director of the Early Childhood Leadership Institute at the University of the District of Columbia’s National Center for Urban Education.  Maurice has spent his career advancing high-quality early childhood education and advocating for educational reform and teacher professional development. Join us at the Conference on the Young Years to hear Mr. Sykes.  Registration Information

Goal 3 - Missouri will prepare, develop and support effective educators.

Science Teacher from St. Joseph Wins Prestigious Milken Award
Deborah Siebern-Dennis, a 7th and 8th grade honors science teacher at Bode Middle School in St. Joseph, has been named the winner of a Milken Educator Award that includes an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000. St. Joseph School District officials called a surprise assembly for the announcement. Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley of the Milken Educator Awards made the presentation. Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven was on hand for the celebration and helped surprise Deborah.

“We are delighted that Deborah has received this recognition from the Milken Educator Awards,” said Commissioner Vandeven. “Deborah is a great example of the how the teaching profession enriches opportunities for Missouri students by promoting a love for learning.”  Read more

Ensuring Equitable Access to Excellent Educators
Educational stakeholders from a cross-section of rural, urban and suburban school districts came together on January 27, 2016, for Missouri’s first-ever Equity Lab. Districts in attendance included Cassville, Caruthersville, Center, De LaSalle Charter, Ft. Zumwalt, Marshall, Raytown and Riverview Gardens. The Center for Great Teachers and Leaders and Central Comprehensive Center staff were there to assist the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Educator Quality.  Read more


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