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Andrew Rivetti, Professor of Communication and Language, has been selected by Three Rivers College as the 2020 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Jesse “Clinton” Salyer III, Adjunct Instructor of Teacher Education, was named by the College as its Adjunct of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Rivetti and Salyer will be honored by the Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce during its Teacher Appreciation Week May 16-22, which is in lieu of the annual Teacher of the Year Banquet.

“We’re proud to honor these educators who prepare the leaders of our community,” said Steve Halter, President of the Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce. “We believe it’s important that education and business work together to train the future workers for our businesses.”

“I feel I have benefitted doubly from teaching Spanish at Three Rivers. On one hand, it is a blessing to be able to teach a subject I consider very valuable and about which I am very passionate,” said Rivetti. “On the other hand, getting to know the diversity of students in my classes, typical of a community college, has been the most wonderful part of the experience.”

Brice Matson, Assistant Professor of English at Three Rivers, who nominated Rivetti, said “Andrew provides an educational experience for his students that they remember, and talk about, for years after leaving his excellent course.”

Rivetti, who was also awarded the Governor’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017, is known for making communicating in Spanish during class a comfortable and enjoyable experience for his students.

He has taught Spanish at Three Rivers for 20 years, and served as the Chair for the Global Education Committee since 2009. Rivetti also oversees the Global Studies Seminar at Three Rivers.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, in 1993, Rivetti lived in Chile for three and a half years, where he perfected his Spanish, taught English, and met his wife, Veronica. Rivetti then moved back to Ohio with his wife and earned his Master of Arts in Spanish from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 2000.

“I thank God for my employment at Three Rivers College, which has enriched my life and provided me with a sense of fulfillment,” said Rivetti.

Salyer, the 2020 Adjunct of the Year, was an instructor for Teacher Education until his recent retirement. “With teaching, I enjoyed the interaction with the students and helping them along the way to their future,” said Salyer. “I especially enjoyed teaching education because I want them to have the same excitement I had as a teacher. As an administrator, I enjoyed the interaction with the students. I also loved going in to the classrooms to see the great activities my amazing staff was teaching to our students.”

Dr. Alice Faye Sanders, Instructor of Teacher Education at Three Rivers, who nominated Salyer for this award, said of him, “His 30 plus years of expertise in public school education has been invaluable to the College. His leadership will be missed.”

After attending Three Rivers, Salyer graduated from Arkansas State University in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Southeast Missouri State University. Salyer taught third grade at Mark Twain Elementary from 1990-1997, fourth grade at O’Neal elementary from 1998-2000, and fourth grade at Eugene Field Elementary from 2001 to 2007. Salyer was the principal at the Fisk K-8 school from 2007 to 2016, and has been an adjunct professor at Three Rivers since 2004.

Salyer was Teacher of the Year at Mark Twain in 1996 and at Eugene Field in 2002.

“We’re extremely proud of the work that Mr. Rivetti and Mr. Salyer have done in our classrooms,” said Dr. Wesley Payne, President of Three Rivers College. “They are examples of the excellence that all of our instructors display and the kind of high-quality education that our students receive.”

Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit

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