Two area teachers named finalists for Kansas Teacher of the Year
Denise Kahler, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876
TOPEKA—Sept. 7, 2013—Marney Hay, a fourth-grade teacher at Pray-Woodman Elementary School in Maize (Maize USD 266), and Jennifer M. Bailey, a high school language arts teacher at Valley Center High School (Valley Center USD 262), were named Region 4 finalists for the 2014 Kansas Teacher of the Year award today. This award recognizes excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state.
The announcements were made during ceremonies at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Wichita. As finalists for the Kansas Teacher of the Year distinction, Hay and Bailey each received a $2,000 cash award from Security Benefit, a major partner in the Kansas Teacher of the Year program. In addition, they are now eligible to be named Kansas Teacher of the Year, an award that will be announced during ceremonies in Wichita on Nov. 23.
Hay and Bailey were among six Teacher of the Year semi-finalists from Region 4, which covers the fourth U.S. congressional district. Other semi-finalists were Michele Rice, a third-grade teacher at Prairie Elementary School in Haysville (Haysville USD 261); Irene Langerot, a kindergarten teacher at Oaklawn Elementary School in Wichita (Derby USD 260); Christina J. Vavra, a seventh-grade science teacher at Haysville West Middle School (Haysville USD 261); and Hilary Phipps, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at the Derby Sixth Grade Center (Derby USD 260). Each of the semi-finalists received a red marble apple with a wooden base, compliments of The Master Teacher in Manhattan. Statewide, 105 educators were nominated for the Kansas Teacher of the Year distinction.
Nominations are made in each of four regions in the state. The Kansas State Department of Education, sponsor of the Kansas Teacher of the Year program, appoints regional selection panels comprised of teachers, education administrators, and higher education representatives to select semi-finalists and finalists from each region.
Each panel selects six semi-finalists – three elementary teachers and three secondary teachers. From those semi-finalists, the panel in each region then selects one elementary finalist and one secondary finalist. The Kansas Teacher of the Year is selected from among the state’s eight regional finalists.
The mission of the Kansas Teacher of the Year program is to build and utilize a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the improvement of schools, student performance, and the teaching profession. The Kansas Teacher of the Year team, comprised of the Teacher of the Year and state finalists, serve as ambassadors for education in Kansas, making public appearances across the state promoting education and the teaching profession.
The individual selected as the Kansas Teacher of the Year is eligible for national distinction as Teacher of the Year. The National Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by Target, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, in partnership with the ING Foundation, the University of Phoenix and People to People Ambassador Programs.
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