Haysville USD 261’s Dennis Munk, a physical education teacher at Campus High School, was named Region 4 finalist (Secondary School) for the 2015 Kansas Teacher of the Year award during a ceremony held September 6 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Wichita. This award recognizes excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state.
Lisa Holt, an elementary special education teacher at Country View Elementary School in Winfield (Winfield USD 465) was named Region 4 finalists (Elementary School) for the 2015 Kansas Teacher of the Year award.
Haysville USD 261’s Ramie Allison, who at the time was a physical education teacher at Nelson Elementary School, was a finalist for the 2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year award. Pam Olson, a math teacher at Campus High School, was a finalist for the 2006 Kansas Teacher of the Year award.
“I think it is a great honor to be named as one of the finalists for Kansas Teacher of the Year award,” Munk said. “No teacher teaches with the expectation to be recognized for the work that they do. But this would not have been possible without the support of my family, administration and staff at Campus High School and Haysville School District.”
Campus High School Principal Myron Regier said: “Mr. Munk is highly deserving of this recognition. He is an outstanding educator who builds strong relationships with his students and supports them through a rigorous course of study in his classes. Mr. Munk has developed our popular Health Science Pathway from the ground up at Campus High School. Students know that the challenging, relevant work in Mr. Munk’s classes will be excellent preparation for future academic and career endeavors.”
Haysville USD 261 Superintendent Dr. John Burke said: “I am thrilled that Dennis Munk has been selected as a finalist for the Kansas Teacher of the Year. He is an outstanding teacher!”
As finalists for the Kansas Teacher of the Year distinction, Holt and Munk each received a $2,000 cash award from Security Benefit, the major corporate partner for the Kansas Teacher of the Year program. In addition, each finalist is now eligible to be named Kansas Teacher of the Year, which will be announced during ceremonies in Wichita on November 22.
Holt and Munk were among six Teacher of the Year semi-finalists from Region 4, which covers the fourth U.S. congressional district. Other semi-finalists were Pam Branaman, a fourth-grade teacher at Southwest Elementary School in Pratt (Pratt USD 382); Tracy Klaassen, a fifth-grade English language arts, mathematics, and science teacher and Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) Coordinator at Remington Middle School in Whitewater (Remington-Whitewater USD 206); Alejandra Prendes, a middle school world languages teacher at Maize South Middle School in Wichita (Maize USD 266); and Shay Whetstone, a middle school social studies teacher at Andover Middle School (Andover USD 385).
Each of the semi-finalists received a red marble apple with a wooden base, compliments of The Master Teacher in Manhattan. Ninety-eight educators across the state 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 comprised of teachers, education administrators, and higher education representatives to select semi-finalists and finalists from each region.
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 state’s eight regional finalists.
The mission of the Kansas Teacher of the Year program is to build and utilize a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the improvement of schools, student performance, and the teaching profession. The Kansas Teacher of the Year team, comprised of the Teacher of the Year and state finalists, serve as ambassadors for education in Kansas, making public appearances across the state promoting education and the teaching profession.
The individual selected as the Kansas Teacher of the Year is eligible for national distinction as National 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 Voya and People to People Ambassador Programs.
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