Carthage’s Karissa Sparlin among 8 local educators recognized as McDonalds Outstanding Educators


Local teachers were selected as the second annual 2021 McDonald’s Outstanding Educators from a pool of more than 425 nominations.

The award honors educators who exhibit the ultimate dedication to their students and contribute to the improvement of education in our most challenging times. Local McDonald’s Owner/Operator Phil Close says recognizing teachers for all they do for the youth in the communities they serve is a top priority for local McDonald’s restaurants.

“Our local educators are the definition of perseverance and loyalty. They show up and give their all day after day to make sure our students thrive,” said Close. “We’re excited to recognize those who go above and beyond for our students through the Outstanding Educator awards.”

Winners of the outstanding educator award each receive a $100 Visa gift card to use toward their classroom; a coffee mug; certificates and McDonald’s coupons to provide to parents with outstanding students throughout the year. Local McDonald’s restaurants added this year one educator to be awarded $1,000 Visa Gift Card as well.


Close partnered with other area McDonald’s operators including Alex Maffei, Glen Nichols, Thomas Nichols, and Shane Campbell to honor the following area educators:

$1,000 McDonald’s Outstanding Educator Award Winner:

Heather Van Otterloo, South Middle School, Joplin, MO

$100 McDonald’s Outstanding Educator Award Winners:

Karissa Sparlin, Fairview Elementary School, Carthage, MO
Cassi Stinnett, Lower Elementary School, Grove, OK
Dana Daugharthy, Iola High School, Iola, KS
Ashlie Smoke, Jay Elementary School, Jay, OK
Roxcee McCully, Soaring Heights Elementary School, Joplin, MO
Scotty Ann Wagner, Lamar East Primary School, Lamar, MO
Larry Dowell, Washington Carver Elementary School, Neosho, MO