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Michael Dragen is LPS Teacher of the Year!

It was only fitting that the newly-named 2022-2023 Liberty Public Schools Teacher of the Year received a special escort around the school that was led by a drummer.  It was quite a moment for longtime LPS and current Heritage Middle School Band Teacher Michael Dragen, who received an amazing reception prior to being officially announced with this recognition in the HMS commons.

"Michael Dragen is deserving of this recognition because he works harder than any teacher I have ever met, not out of a desire to prove himself, but out of a desire to make a difference in the lives of others," said Heritage Middle School Choir Teacher Jennifer Benjamin.  "Each and every day, he shows up.  Each and every dayhe puts focused effort into creating value, defining purpose, and giving himself and others a reason."
Dragen began his teaching career at LPS in 2011 at South Valley Middle School.  He then transitioned to teach band at both Heritage Middle School and Liberty North High School in 2013.
According to Liberty Public Schools Director of Fine Arts, Aaron Money, it is the contributions made by staff such as Dragen who have made LPS Fine Arts one of the top programs in the Kansas City metro, state, and region.
"Mr. Dragen is a passionate educator who wants the best for his students in everyday life," said LPS Director of Fine Arts Aaron Money.  "For him, it's more than about how to be a productive person in society through his subject of music. We are extremely proud of him and all of the experiences he provides for our students". 
This is the 17th year of the Liberty Public Schools Teacher of the Year program, which annually celebrates the amazing teaching and learning that takes place across the district every day.  In 2021, it was announced that all LPS teachers had been named with this distinction for their incredible contributions while in the midst of the pandemic.  Dragen now becomes the second LPS Teacher of the Year recipient representing Heritage Middle School, as Sally James received the same award in 2009.
"What makes these days so special is seeing the excitement on the faces of the students and staff following the announcement," said LPS Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Tucker.  "It doesn't take you long to realize the impact he has made on so many lives, both here at Heritage and across the district."
Dragen will now compete in the Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year process, which takes place later this spring and is hosted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  To share a message of congratulations with Mr. Dragen, click here.