The Unified School District #456 Board of Education is proud to recognize Melissa Criqui, Kindergarten Teacher at Marais des Cygnes Valley Elementary School, as the USD 456 Teacher of the Year for the 2022-2023 school year. With this selection, Mrs. Criqui becomes the school district nominee for the Kansas State Department of Education's Teacher of the Year program.

The USD 456 Teacher of the Year award is in its fourth year, created in response to the call from KSDE to select nominees for its statewide Teacher of the Year program. For this award, Mrs. Criqui was selected amongst district certified staff through a nomination process that included students, staff, and community members and then chosen by the board of education. 

In being the district's nominee for the annual KSDE Teacher of the Year program, it should be noted that to be a nominee for the program is a highly prestigious honor with only 8 state-level finalists selected from over 100 nominees, of which will include Mrs. Criqui. To be considered for KSDE's Teacher of the Year, district nominees complete a professional application packet including a professional biography, response questions, recommendation letters, and a number of other information items.

For this year's Teacher of the Year award, Mrs. Criqui was selected due to her outstanding classroom leadership, commitment to student success, and collaboration with parents and staff. Mrs. Criqui is a wonderful educator who takes great pride in making sure she is meeting all of her students' needs, with her nomination mentioning they have "seen her positively affect kids and families" as she closely manages the learning and morale of each individual. Congratulations are extended from the USD 456 Board of Education to Melissa Criqui upon her selection.