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Kansas Horizon Award Program

The Kansas Horizon Award program identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state.

The mission of the program is to recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding. 

2018 Kansas Horizon Award Application


2017 Kansas Horizon Award Recipients

Region 1

Alexandria Acton, Union Valley Elementary School, Buhler USD 313

Rebecca Burnfin, Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center, Garden City USD 457

Olivia Casey, Ellinwood Grade School, Ellinwood USD 355

Jeremy Holiday, Saint George Elementary School, Rock Creek USD 323

Carter Kruger, Liberal High School, Liberal USD 480

Anna Nusser, Chapman High School, Chapman USD 473

Jesse Todd, Plum Creek Elementary School, Buhler USD 313

Ashley Winger, Salina West Alternative Program, Salina USD 305


Region 2

Ariel Beam, Chanute Elementary School, Chanute USD 413

Jillian Brock, Community Elementary School, Coffeyville USD 445

Jennifer Daley, Shawnee Heights High School, Shawnee Heights USD 450

Margaret LaPiana, Hillcrest Elementary School, Lawrence USD 497

Roger Laubengayer-Mena, Highland Park High School, Topeka USD 501

Tyler Riedel, Washburn Rural Middle School, Auburn Washburn USD 437

Kelsey Stolt, West Middle School, Lawrence USD 497

Michael Vander Linden, Burlington High School, Burlington USD 244


Region 3

Lauren Aiello, Turner Middle School, Turner USD 202

Matthew Baker, Shawnee Mission West High School, Shawnee Mission USD 512

Shelby Hansen, Lakewood Middle School, Blue Valley USD 229

Kimberly Ingraham, Pleasant Ridge Elementary School, Olathe USD 233

Courtney MacCallum, Stanley Elementary School, Blue Valley USD 229

Penny Seifert, Turner Sixth Grade Academy, Turner USD 202

Heathyr Shaw, Mill Valley High School, De Soto USD 232

Stephanie Wilhite, Brookridge Elementary School, Shawnee Mission USD 512


Region 4

Jill Bajaj, Robinson Middle School, Wichita USD 259

Carly Bowden, Andover Central Middle School, Andover USD 385

Olivia Burbach, Lawrence Elementary School, Wichita USD 259

Cady Jackson, Valley Center High School, Valley Center USD 262

Mallory Keefe, Jefferson Elementary School, El Dorado USD 490

Nova Latta, Chisholm Middle School, Newton USD 373

Michael Russell, Complete High School Maize, Maize USD 266

Alexis Schirmer, Vermillion Elementary School, Maize USD 266


General Qualifications:                                 

Novice teachers who have successfully completed their first year of teaching are eligible to be recognized. Applications will be submitted in October  of their second year of teaching, and recognition will occur in February of their second year. The criteria for this award are:

  • Nominee will have successfully completed his or her first year of teaching in a prekindergarten through grade 12 Kansas school accredited by the State Board of Education.
  • Nominee will be a full-time classroom teacher.
  • Nominee will be responsible for the assessment of students, assignment of grades, preparation of lesson plans, parent-teacher conferences, discipline, attendance, and other daily educational tasks.
  • Nominee will have performed in a way that distinguishes him or her from other novice teachers.
  • Nominee will be selected by the school district superintendent and building principal.

Selection Process:

The Kansas Horizon Award Program is a regional competition. The regions correspond to the state’s four U.S. congressional districts.

The Kansas State Department of Education will appoint regional selection committees responsible for reviewing the nomination forms and selecting four elementary classroom teachers and four secondary classroom teachers per region for a total of 32 teachers.

Communications and Recognition Programs
Team Director

Denise Kahler
(785) 296-4876

Questions about this
page contact:

Cheryl Franklin
(785) 296-4909

Tamla Miller
(785) 296-4950

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