Monday, September 8, 2014
Two Bonner Springs teachers named finalists for Kansas Teacher of the Year
BONNER SPRINGS, KAN. – Beau Bragg, an elementary physical education teacher at Bonner Springs Elementary School (Bonner Springs USD 204), and Kimberly Nelson, a sixth-grade English language arts teacher at Robert E. Clark Middle School in Bonner Springs (Bonner Springs USD 204), were named Region 3 finalists for the 2015 Kansas Teacher of the Year award during a ceremony this evening at the Marriott Hotel in Overland Park.
This award recognizes excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state.
As finalists for the Kansas Teacher of the Year distinction, Bragg and Nelson 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.
Bragg and Nelson were among six Teacher of the Year semi-finalists from Region 3, which covers the third U.S. congressional district.
Other semi-finalists were Jennifer Vaughan, a second-grade teacher at Prairie Ridge Elementary School in Shawnee (De Soto USD 232); Jennifer Maleta, an elementary vocal music teacher at Turner Elementary School in Kansas City (Turner USD 202); Valerie Burch, a ninth-grade mathematics teacher at Turner High School in Kansas City (Turner USD 202); and Melissa Pelkey, a high school English language arts teacher at De Soto High School (De Soto USD 232).
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.