Shirley Cromer Leadership Award

MNEA Past President Shirley Cromer believed that true leadership extends beyond local and state participation in the Association. She believed that awareness and knowledge of national goals and programs are essential to preserving the ongoing continuity and integrity of the Missouri NEA.

The Shirley Cromer Leadership Award is funded annually through the Shirley Cromer Memorial Fund. Each year, this award is presented to a Missouri NEA member who exemplifies qualities of leadership and dedication to the Association.

Purpose: The Shirley Cromer Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leaders and potential leaders and encourages leadership development through participation in an NEA conference.

Award: The Shirley Cromer Leadership Award shall be a financial grant to provide expense reimbursement for attendance at:

  • A professional development conference.
  • MNEA/NEA Conference or meeting.
  • A meeting/conference approved in advance by the MNEA President.

The recipient shall be reimbursed for vouchered expenses up to the amount of $1,400 to cover reasonable conference expenses of mileage, travel, conference registration, hotel, ground transportation, and meals. In lieu of attendance at a conference, the recipient may also use the award to take a continuing education class, pre-approved by the MNEA President. In this case, the vouchered expenses of the class will not exceed $1,400 and the final grade must be a B or above. Reimbursement will be received upon course completion. The recipient of the award will be notified upon receipt of the award of the timeline for submission of the vouchered expenses.

Nomination Deadline: October 1.

Nomination Process: Nominations and letters of recommendation may be made and submitted by a local association, a governance council, or an Active, ESP, Reserve, Student, Retired, Substitute, or Life member. Nominations are limited to one per local association and are to be submitted to the Missouri NEA Board of Directors by the executive committee of the local association. The final selection is made by the Board of Directors and announced at the Fall MNEA Representative Assembly each year.

Guidelines for Selection of Recipient: Upon reviewing the application forms and letters of recommendation, the MNEA Board of Directors shall make the selection of the recipient based on the following criteria:

  1. Applicants must demonstrate an awareness and knowledge of state and national goals and programs.
  2. Applicants must be actively involved in local and state association activities.
  3. The award shall not be presented to an applicant who receives additional funding to any national conference. If in any given year, in the judgment of the Board, there is no appropriate candidate, this award will not be given.

If a nomination received for Shirley Cromer Leadership Award is more appropriate for the Soar with the Eagles Award, the Board of Directors, may hold the nomination and/or resubmit it to the appropriate award category. As long as nominees are still active members, they will be considered at that time. Nominators would be notified of this action.

For more information, contact Roxane Bly (, (573) 644-9606). 

Winners of the Shirley Cromer Award

2021 Crystal Stokes-Danner
2020 Amanda Bearden 
2019 Christina Andrade Melly
2017 Beverly Schroeder 
2016 Diane Livingston
2015 Mary O’Leary
2014 Denice Ash
2013 Jan Wester
2012 Lisa Kickbusch
2011 Jo Wanda Bozeman

2010 Christopher Eager
2009 Rebeka McIntosh
2008 Don Schulte
2007 Donna Collins
2006 Julia Todd
2005 Monica Miller
2004 Linda Hess
2003 Sharon Easterday
2002 Christy Broce
2001 Sherry Brandes
2000 Cindy Thompson

1999 Chris Guinther
1998 Bill Guinther
1997 Jan Humphrey
1996 Marilyn Sadler
1995 Doug Allen
1994 Charles Smith
1993 Julie Relford
1992 Vickie Trutzel
1990 Ben Simmons
1989 Brad Swofford
1988 Karen Heflin
1987 Joyce Mackender