Two area teachers named finalists for Kansas Teacher of the Year
TOPEKA, September 8, 2007
Karla Denny, Director, Communications and Recognition Programs, 785-296-4950
Karen Bristow, a first-grade teacher at Garfield Elementary School in Augusta (Augusta USD 402), and Stacie Valdez, a high school English and language arts teacher at Wichita North High School (Wichita USD 259), were named Region 4 finalists for the 2008 Kansas Teacher of the Year award today.
The announcements were made during ceremonies at the Wichita Marriott Hotel. As finalists for the Kansas Teacher of the Year distinction, Bristow and Valdez each received a $2,000 cash award from Security Benefit, a major partner in the Kansas Teacher of the Year program.
Bristow and Valdez are among six Teacher of the Year semi-finalists from Region 4, which covers the fourth U.S. congressional district. Other semi-finalists were Malynda Mayes, a first-grade teacher at Park Hill Elementary School in Derby (Derby USD 260); Carla J. Wulf, a third-grade teacher at Ruth Clark Elementary School in Wichita (Haysville USD 261); Dorothy Beer, a high school English teacher at El Dorado High School (El Dorado USD 490); and Davis C. Laughlin, a seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Circle Middle School in Benton (Circle USD 375). 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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