JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin R-8 School District announced the latest recipient of the Regional Elementary Teacher of the Year award for southwest Missouri.

That award goes to Soaring Heights Elementary, special education teacher, Julie Pagan.

Mrs. Pagan has been an educator with Joplin Schools for eight years, and has served at Soaring Heights for the past six years.

“Pagan is a dedicated, caring educator who epitomizes student-first servant leadership. She sets the tone for professionalism and pragmatism in our building, and makes us all strive to be better educators. We are so fortunate to call her an Eagle,” said Soaring Heights Principal, Katy Booher.

This isn’t the first award for Pagan.

In April of 2022, she was named as the “Fred Laas, Teacher of the Year” for Joplin Schools.

Staff and administrators at Soaring Heights nominated Pagan, noting her exemplary dedication, compassion and work ethic.

Pagan is one of 34 regional instructors who received the Teacher of the Year award for Missouri in 2022, all of whom will be invited and recognized at the Missouri State Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet in October, which is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“We are very proud of Julie and her accomplishments. Her work in the classroom everyday exemplifies her commitment to her students and their education. We wish her the best as she continues on in the Teacher of the Year program,” said Joplin Schools Superintendent, Dr. Kerry Sachetta.