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11-4-19 — Award Nomination Process Begins for Nine Educators

Nov. 4, 2019 ~ A district nominating committee has selected nine highly qualified educators as semifinalists for statewide award programs: the 2020 Kansas Teacher of the Year Award and the 2020 Emporia State University Master Teacher Award.

"Selecting only three semi-finalists is very difficult because our teachers are amazing and represent this profession very well,” said Olathe NEA President Kathy Meyer. “We are proud and excited for these outstanding teachers in our district to showcase their talents as they are considered in the next step of selecting finalists."

Elementary Kansas Teacher of the Year semifinalists: Kimberly Davis, kindergarten teacher at Ravenwood Elementary; Marcy Good, second-grade teacher at Canyon Creek Elementary; and John McCormick, second-grade teacher at Westview Elementary.

Secondary Kansas Teacher of the Year semifinalists: Amy Hill, center-based resource teacher at Olathe East High School; Jessica Skoglund, English language arts teacher at Olathe Northwest High School; and Amy Walker, seventh-grade social studies teacher at Summit Trail Middle School.

Emporia State University Master Teacher semifinalists: Mardy Ortman, AP literature and AVID teacher at Olathe West High School; Betsy Prestridge, fourth-grade teacher at Canyon Creek Elementary; and Dena Steen, third-grade teacher at Ravenwood Elementary.

District selection committees chose the semifinalists from applications representing each school and others working in classrooms. The Master Teacher Award nominees may include administrators, librarians, counselors and others in important roles who aren't assigned to a particular classroom.

The semifinalists will be videotaped in an interview and while teaching. The selection committee will meet Dec. 3 to select one district finalist for each of the three awards.

The district finalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year will submit an application to the Kansas State Department of Education in April. The district finalist for Emporia State University's Master Teacher award will complete a portfolio to submit in January.

All building nominees will be honored at the district's Teacher Recognition Ceremony at 5 p.m. March 3 at Frontier Trail Middle School.