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Ritenour music teacher named Missouri Teacher of the Year

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The Ritenour School District celebrated on Friday its first teacher to earn the prestigious honor of Missouri Teacher of the Year.

Beth Davey, a music teacher at Iveland Elementary, was given the honor for the 2017-18 year by a committee appointed by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“Any time you walk into Ms. Davey’s classroom, you say to yourself, ‘This is what teaching and learning needs to look like and feel like in every classroom,’” Iveland Principal Amanda Connelly said in a statement. “She instills a sense of discovery and creative spirit in all of her students in a way that each can experience success and use that to make a positive impact in their community.”

In her six years at Iveland, Davey started an after-school honor choir, a before-school strings program and classes of the Orff-Schulwerk approach, which integrates music and movement with drama and speech, according to the district.

Davey performs with the vocal ensemble Pro-Arte St. Louis and is involved with the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, which provides professional development for music teachers.

She has a bachelor’s degree in music education from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The last St. Louis-area teacher to earn the annual Teacher of the Year award was Chris Holmes, who taught journalism at Hazelwood West High School, in 2014-15.

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Kristen Taketa is the K-12 education reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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