Thursday, January 16, 2014

Turner Elementary teacher wins prestigious Kansas Horizon Award

Courtesy of the Turner School District

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Turner USD 202 is proud to announce that Brittany Gonser, 4th grade teacher at Turner Elementary School, has been selected as a Kansas Horizon Award recipient.

Only the most outstanding new educators are eligible for this distinguished award given by the Kansas State Department of Education.

Gonser was nominated for the award by her Principal, Kristie Darby. Darby was also a recipient of the Kansas Horizon Award during her first years in education.

“Mrs. Gonser uses many strategies to motivate and inspire her students, as well as other students in our building," Darby said. "The positive rapport she has with Turner Elementary students and the focus she puts on meeting the individual needs of her students is that of a veteran educator.”

Gonser joined the Turner School District at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.

While in the district, she has made a tremendous impact on her students. Also, she is highly regarded by colleagues. To support Gonser in her award application, both novice and veteran teachers wrote letters of support.

Turner Unified School District Superintendent, Dr. Michelle Sedler says of Gonser: “Brittany is an exemplary educator in every way. It is wonderful to see her recognized as one of the best new educators in the state of Kansas. Mrs. Gonser is an outstanding instructor and model for our students”.

Each year, 32 new teachers across the state of Kansas receive the Horizon Award.

After being notified of her award by a surprise call from Kansas Commissioner of Education, Diane DeBacker, Gonser was thrilled.

“When I first received the phone call from Dr. DeBacker, I was pretty stunned," Gonser said. "It took me a moment to figure out why the Commissioner of Education might be calling for me! I felt very humbled that so many people that I respect and admire took the time to make it such a memorable experience for me. It is a moment I will never forget. I’m also very proud to represent the Turner School District and all of the amazing people I work with every day.”

Gonser holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree from Rockhurst University.