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Teachers from the St. Louis area dominate the list of finalists for the 2015-16 Missouri Teacher of the Year, a prestigious award given each year by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Last year's Teacher of the Year is Chris Holmes, a journalism teacher at Hazelwood West High School in Hazelwood.

The six finalists to succeed him are:

• Kimberly Dailey, a special education teacher at Lindbergh High School, St. Louis County, through Special School District of St. Louis County.

• Melissa Nussbaum, a 7th grade science teacher at Truman Middle School, in St. Louis County, the Lindbergh School District.

•Michael Dragoni, a visual arts teacher at Buder Elementary School in St. Ann, the Ritenour School District.

• Yulia Kotets, an English language learner specialist at Willow Brook Elementary, in Creve Coeur, the Pattonville School District.

• Linda Glasgow, a 3rd grade teacher at John Nowlin Elementary in Blue Springs, the Blue Springs School District.

• Amy Krinke, a music teacher at Lee’s Summit West High School, in Lee’s Summit, the Lee's Summit School District.

School districts throughout the state submit nominations. Finalists were chosen by a selection committee appointed by the education department.

The selection committee is made up of teachers, business leaders and education organization leaders. The group will select the state's Teacher of the Year after interviews with each finalist on Sept. 14. The winner and the finalists will be honored at a banquet Oct. 26 in Jefferson City.

The new Missouri Teacher of the Year will serve as the state’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition.

The Department conducts the Missouri Teacher of the Year program with financial support provided by the Boeing Company and the Monsanto Fund.