Kansas State Department of Education

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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.             

Novice teachers who have met all requirements on any license type with the exceptions of emergency substitute and emergency standard substitute licenses, which do not qualify, are eligible to be nominated. Teachers who are completing an alternative route and teaching under a pre-standard license (still in the process of completing the professional education or preservice program) are also eligible to be nominated.

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.

 2021 Kansas Horizon Award Application  


2020 Kansas Horizon Award Recipients

Region 1
  • Elly Dice, North Lyon Co. Elementary School, North Lyon Co. USD 251
  • Christina Frost, Council Grove Elementary School, Morris County USD 417
  • Mariannet Herrera, Western Plains High School, Western Plains USD 106
  • Lillian Lingenfelter, Peabody-Burns Middle School, Peabody-Burns USD 398
  • Carrie Pilkington, St. George Elementary School, Rock Creek USD 323
  • Lisa Pluff, Manhattan High School, Manhattan-Ogden USD 383
  • Caroline Riggenbach, Plum Creek Elementary School, Buhler USD 313
  • Kyle Van Vogelpoel, Rock Creek Junior-Senior High School, Rock Creek USD 323
Region 2
  • Chad Aberle, West Middle School, Lawrence USD 497
  • Kaylee Barber, Washburn Rural High School, Auburn-Washburn USD 437
  • Tristan Bartley, McLouth Middle/High School, McLouth USD 342
  • Heather Corley, Anderson Co. Junior-Senior High School, Garnett USD 365
  • Sidney Doty, Berryton Elementary School, Shawnee Heights USD 450
  • Allison Flinn, Oskaloosa Elementary School, Oskaloosa USD 341
  • Tawni Schraad, Randolph Elementary School, Topeka USD 501
  • Scotti Twombly, Hiawatha Elementary School, Hiawatha USD 415
Region 3
  • Emily Baden, Nike Elementary School, Gardner Edgerton USD 231
  • Samantha Collins, Chisholm Trail Middle School, Olathe USD 233
  • Katie Cox, Turner Middle School, Turner USD 202
  • Blake Fingalsen, Rhein Benninghoven Elementary School, Shawnee Mission USD 512
  • Bennett Johnson, Heritage Elementary School, Olathe USD 233
  • Paige Lankford, Blue Valley West High School, Blue Valley USD 229
  • Matthew Lundy, Spring Hill High School, Spring Hill USD 230
  • Emily Moore, Overland Trail Elementary School, Blue Valley USD 229
Region 4
  • Victoria Bay, Andover Central Middle School, Andover USD 385
  • Keegan Hallmark, Andover Middle School, Andover USD 385
  • Kacie Johnson, El Dorado Middle School, El Dorado USD 490
  • Chasmyn Lindeman-Thimesch, Cloud Elementary School, Wichita USD 259
  • Crystal Logan, Mulvane High School, Mulvane USD 263
  • Kelley Lowe, W.D. Munson Primary School, Mulvane USD 263
  • Mollie Mills-Weis, Newton High School, Newton USD 373
  • Kali Stearns, Circle Towanda Elementary School, Circle USD 375
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