LIBERTY — Summer Kelley was named the 2020-21 Liberty Public Schools Teacher of the Year. A video feature of Kelley can be viewed by clicking here. Kelley has been a huge difference-maker for both staff and students at the LPS Alternative Education site as she finishes her third year at the school, a press release states. She is a 21-year veteran of education, having served in several teaching roles. “Every team needs at least one workhorse, a person that addresses a need before the rest of the team realizes the need,” said Alternative Education Director Melissa Norris. “One would be hard-pressed to find Mrs. Kelley sitting because she is always trying to take care of multiple needs at once.” Kelley has earned the nicknames “Mother Hen “and “Mom” due to her nurturing nature and relationship-building habits, the release states. “Just having that trust and bond with her, it changes your day really,” said Liberty Academy student Sedona Troutman. “If you need advice, you go to Mrs. Kelley.” Kelley becomes the 16th LPS District Teacher of the Year and now joins Sara Langford as the only two teachers from Liberty Academy to receive this award. Langford was Liberty School District’s second selection in program history, representing LPS the for 2006-07 school year. “We are thrilled to be able to recognize such an amazing educator as Mrs. Kelley,” said LPS Superintendent Jeremy Tucker. “When you hear the numerous stories from both students and colleagues, it doesn’t take you long to realize what a game-changer she is for her building and for our district. We are confident she will also represent us so very well at the state level.” Kelley will now advance to the Regional Teacher of the Year competition hosted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, with finalists named later this summer.