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2017 Kansas Horizon Award Program recognizes 32 first-year Kansas educators

Posted: Jan 12, 2017
Categories: KSDE
Author: Ann Bush

TOPEKA – Thirty-two first-year educators from Kansas are being recognized for their outstanding teaching skills through the 2017 Kansas Horizon Award program.

The first-year educators will be honored at a special ceremony during the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN) State Education Conference on Feb. 10 in Topeka.

The Kansas Horizon Award program, which is sponsored by KSDE, allows all school districts in the state an opportunity to nominate one elementary and one secondary teacher for the award.

To be eligible for the award, teachers must have successfully completed their first year of teaching and have performed in such a way as to distinguish themselves as outstanding.

The program is a regional competition with four regions corresponding to the state’s U.S. Congressional districts. Four elementary and four secondary classroom teachers may be selected for the award from each region.

Recipients of the 2017 Kansas Horizon Award were notified of their selection by Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson and Deputy Commissioner Brad Neuenswander.

 “I want to congratulate these outstanding teachers,” Watson said. “Each recipient has demonstrated their dedication to the teaching profession, and I want to thank them for their time and talent. With the help of great teachers like these, we are one step closer to meeting the vision for education in the state, which is Kansas leads the world in the success of each student. Kansas is lucky to have such quality teachers in its classrooms.”

2017 Kansas Horizon Award Recipients
Region 1
Alexandria Acton, Union Valley Elementary School, Buhler Unified School District (USD) 313
Rebecca Burnfin, Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center, Garden City USD 457
Olivia Casey, Ellinwood Grade School, Ellinwood USD 355
Jeremy Holiday, Saint George Elementary School, Rock Creek USD 323
Carter Kruger, Liberal High School, Liberal USD 480
Anna Nusser, Chapman High School, Chapman USD 473
Jesse Todd, Plum Creek Elementary School, Buhler USD 313
Ashley Winger, Salina West Alternative Program, Salina USD 305

Region 2
Ariel Beam, Chanute Elementary School, Chanute USD 413
Jillian Brock, Community Elementary School, Coffeyville USD 445
Jennifer Daley, Shawnee Heights High School, Shawnee Heights USD 450
Margaret LaPiana, Hillcrest Elementary School, Lawrence USD 497
Roger Laubengayer-Mena, Highland Park High School, Topeka USD 501
Tyler Riedel, Washburn Rural Middle School, Auburn Washburn USD 437
Kelsey Stolt, West Middle School, Lawrence USD 497
Michael Vander Linden, Burlington High School, Burlington USD 244

Region 3
Lauren Aiello, Turner Middle School, Turner USD 202
Matthew Baker, Shawnee Mission West High School, Shawnee Mission USD 512
Shelby Hansen, Lakewood Middle School, Blue Valley USD 229
Kimberly Ingraham, Pleasant Ridge Elementary School, Olathe USD 233
Courtney MacCallum, Stanley Elementary School, Blue Valley USD 229
Penny Seifert, Turner Sixth Grade Academy, Turner USD 202
Heathyr Shaw, Mill Valley High School, De Soto USD 232
Stephanie Wilhite, Brookridge Elementary School, Shawnee Mission USD 512
Region 4
Jill Bajaj, Robinson Middle School, Wichita USD 259
Carly Bowden, Andover Central Middle School, Andover USD 385
Olivia Burbach, Lawrence Elementary School, Wichita USD 259
Cady Jackson, Valley Center High School, Valley Center USD 262
Mallory Keefe, Jefferson Elementary School, El Dorado USD 490
Nova Latta, Chisholm Middle School, Newton USD 373
Michael Russell, Complete High School Maize, Maize USD 266
Alexis Schirmer, Vermillion Elementary School, Maize USD 266

As recipients of the Kansas Horizon Award, these educators are invited to join KEEN, a network of educators from around the state who have been formally recognized for exemplary performance. Members of KEEN have an opportunity to network with other outstanding educators and participate in several professional development programs throughout the year.


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