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Dr. Lori Dameron, the gifted resource specialist at Oak Park High School, is all smiles after gathering up teachers and staff to participate in a pop-up car parade Friday, March 27. Her community efforts are also being acknowledged by the Veterans of Foreign War Post 10906 in Gladstone.

The Veterans of Foreign War Post 10906 in Gladstone announces the success of Dr. Lori Dameron, member of the faculty at Oak Park High School, in the Smart Maher Teacher of the Year competition at the high school level.

Dameron was nominated by student AnnaBella Peterson in October 2020, in a 300 word essay, demonstrating why Dameron stands out in her service to the community, the students, civics education, and veterans, according to a press release.

The VFW sponsors an annual competition to recognize classroom teachers that stand out for their work on behalf of the community, civics education, and their students. The Smart Maher award has three categories: elementary, middle, and high school, and each participating post may advance one teacher in each category, with a deadline of Oct. 31.

After careful consideration at the post level, Dameron was advanced to the second level of judging, at the district level. Again, she was chosen as the standout example, and her packet was advanced to the Department of Missouri competition (competing against teachers from all of the state). Once again, the judges chose her to advance. Now, her packet will be judged against winners from each state and overseas Posts in Europe and Asia.

Dameron will receive her post and district recognition in February, at a VFW District meeting. Post 10906 is coordinating with Dr. Chris Sartain, the principal of Dameron’s home school, Oak Park High School, to honor her for her department level win.

According to the release, Dameron has a long and distinguished career in education, including her work as a gifted educator and sponsor to several student organizations. She has served as the Key Club Sponsor, helping students organize community service projects. She has developed a program to recognize students through the Presidential Service Award winners.

She has facilitated the Women’s Foundation Girls Grant Program, helping young leaders connect with adult sponsors. She has worked as part of the Diversity Cadre.

On behalf of veterans and civics education, some of her work has included: guiding students in demonstrating the Pledge of Allegiance for classroom use; working with the American Legion to coordinate the Boys and Girls State programs; and working as the school level coordinator for the American Legion Oratorical Contest.