District Teacher of the Year Kris McCarthy with Riverside Elementary Principal Kathy Thode

Sioux City, Iowa -- Kristine (Kris) McCarthy, a special education teacher at Riverside Elementary School, has been named the Sioux City Community School District Teacher of the Year. McCarthy received the recognition during a surprise all-school assembly on Monday.

With 18 years of teaching experience, McCarthy began her career in the District back in 2012. Before joining Sioux City Community Schools, McCarthy also taught at Ponca Public Schools. She graduated with a bachelor of science in elementary and special education from Morningside University and a master of science in instructional leadership from Wayne State College.

Dr. Rod Earleywine, superintendent of Sioux City Community Schools, says McCarthy exemplifies the qualities of an exceptional educator.

“The significant impact that Kris has made on both her students and colleagues speaks volumes to her passion for education. She elevates the learning environment for those around her and embodies the mission of our district. We are very fortunate to have extraordinary teachers like Kris on our team,” adds Earleywine.

“Kris McCarthy is a true leader of service. She puts the needs of her students at the forefront of every decision that she makes. It is an honor and a privilege to work with her,” says Kathy Thode, principal at Riverside Elementary School.

“The saying ‘when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade’ stands out when I think about the teacher and person Kris is. She has faced many personal things, but she chooses to see the joy and light through it all,” says a fellow teacher at Riverside Elementary School. “Kris is rarely gone from work, which she tells us is her saving grace. Little does she know, she’s a saving grace for us all at Riverside.”

Each year, every school in the Sioux City Community School District selects a recipient as its Building Teacher of the Year. One teacher is selected amongst the group of building recipients to represent the District. This year’s Building Teacher of the Year recipients include:

Alisha Jelken, North High School
Aubra Garrett, Nodland Elementary School
Becky Ronchetto, Irving Dual Language Elementary School
Carla Green, Leeds Elementary School
Christina Bliven, Morningside STEM Elementary School
Deb Condon, Unity Elementary School
Derik Simenson, Perry Creek Elementary School
Betsy Boetger, West High School
Haylee Jansen, Liberty Elementary School
Jamie Zyzda, East High School
Jennifer Bruening, East Middle School
Jennifer Petty, Clark Early Childhood Center
Jill Risdal, Sioux City Career Academy
Jonathan Schreiner, North Middle School
Julie Betz, Hunt A+ Arts Elementary School
Kate Vanderloo, Spalding Park Environmental Sciences Elementary School
Richard Wilmesherr, West Middle School
Sara Berntson, Bryant Elementary School
Sue Newton, Loess Hills Computer Programming Elementary School

McCarthy’s name will be submitted to the Iowa Department of Education for consideration as the state’s Iowa Teacher of the Year recognition.