Two area teachers named finalists for Kansas Teacher of the Year
TOPEKA, September 8, 2007
Karla Denny, Director Communications and Recognition Programs, 785-296-4876
Linda I. Johnson, a third-grade teacher at Council Grove Elementary School (Morris County USD 417), and Shelbie Witte, an eighth-grade English and language arts teacher at Fort Riley Middle School (Geary County USD 475), were named Region 1 finalists for the 2008 Kansas Teacher of the Year award today.
The announcements were made during ceremonies at the Salina Country Club. As finalists for the Kansas Teacher of the Year distinction, Johnson and Witte each received a $2,000 cash award from Security Benefit, a major partner in the Kansas Teacher of the Year program.
Johnson and Witte are among six Teacher of the Year semi-finalists from Region 1, which covers the first U.S. congressional district. Other semi-finalists were Kelli Dossett, a reading specialist at Lincoln Elementary School in McPherson (McPherson USD 418); Ganette “Sue” Omo, a first-grade teacher at Hugoton Elementary School (Hugoton USD 210); Shannon Ralph, a high school biology teacher at Dodge City High School (Dodge City USD 443); and Carlene A. Stueve, a high school language arts teacher at Salina South High School (Salina USD 305). Each of the semi-finalists received a golden apple, compliments of The Master Teacher in Manhattan.
Statewide, 91 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, appointed regional selection panels to select semi-finalists and finalists from each region.
The selection panels are comprised of teachers, education administrators, and higher education representatives. 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 will be selected from among the regional finalists and announced during a ceremony Nov. 17 in Wichita.
The individual selected as the Kansas Teacher of the Year is then eligible for national distinction as Teacher of the Year. The National Teacher of the Year program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers and sponsored by the ING Foundation.
The Kansas Teacher of the Year team, comprised of the Teacher of the Year and state finalists, travels the state advocating for education and the teaching profession.
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