Kathy Toelkes, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876
EMBARGOED UNTIL 1:30 P.M. ON SAT., SEPT. 11, 2010
Two area teachers named finalists for
Kansas Teacher of the Year
TOPEKA—Sept. 11, 2010—Jodi A. Testa, a third-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Junction City (Geary County USD 475), and Nikki M. Chamberlain, an eleventh-grade science teacher at Salina South High School (Salina USD 305), were named Region 1 finalists for the 2011 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, Testa and Chamberlain 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 announcement that will be made during ceremonies in Wichita on Nov. 20.
Testa and Chamberlain were among six Teacher of the Year semi-finalists from Region 1, which covers the first U.S. congressional district. Other semi-finalists were Heather L. Augustine, an elementary music teacher at Hugoton Elementary School (Hugoton USD 210); Martin Vieyra, a first-grade teacher at Wiley Elementary School in Hutchinson (Hutchinson USD 308); Rick Reed, a high school social science teacher at McPherson High School (McPherson USD 418); and Joann McRell, a seventh- and eighth-grade reading teacher at Emporia Middle School (Emporia USD 253). Each of the semi-finalists received a red marble apple, compliments of The Master Teacher in Manhattan. Statewide, 90 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 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 is selected from among the regional finalists.
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, sponsored by the ING Foundation and Target, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, in partnership with the University of Phoenix Foundation and People to People Ambassador Programs. 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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