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11-9-18 — Award Nomination Process Begins for 10 Educators

Nov. 9, 2018 ~ Ten veteran educators are being considered to represent the district in two statewide teaching award programs. The educators have been nominated by their peers for the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year Award and the 2020 Emporia State University Master Teacher Award.

District selection committees evaluated applications representing each school. The selection of these 10 individuals is the first step toward choosing just one highly qualified educator as the district's finalist for Master Teacher and an elementary and secondary representative for the Kansas Teacher of the Year program. Each semifinalist will be videotaped in an interview and while teaching. The selection committee will meet again on Dec. 4.

"The selection process was difficult because we saw how many talented and dedicated staff we have in Olathe,” said Olathe NEA President Kathy Meyer. “It makes us proud that our students are guided by excellent educators.”

Elementary Kansas Teacher of the Year semifinalists: Jim Medina, fourth-grade teacher at Clearwater Creek Elementary School; Nancy Smith, first-grade teacher at Bentwood Elementary School; and Mary Williams, fifth-grade teacher at Meadow Lane Elementary School

Secondary Kansas Teacher of the Year semifinalists: Stacy Goddard, English teacher at Olathe East High School; Amy Hillman, disciplinary literature and Achieving through Individual Motivation (AIM) teacher at Santa Fe Trail Middle School; Joel Martin, orchestra teacher at Olathe Northwest High School; and Georgia Ross, eighth-grade math teacher at Indian Trail Middle School.

Emporia State University Master Teacher semifinalists: Patrick Flynn, math teacher at Olathe West High School; Lauranne Hess, gifted education teacher at Green Springs Elementary School; and Kay Turner-Forsyth, counselor at Westview Elementary School.

The district's finalists for the Kansas Teacher of the Year programs will submit an application to the Kansas State Department of Education in April. The Master Teacher nominee will have until December 2019 to complete a portfolio.

All 10 semifinalists will be invited to the district's annual teacher recognition ceremony on March 5, 2019 at Frontier Trail Middle School.