Semi-finalists in Award Program Represent All Aspects of Education

Nov. 8, 2012 ~ Nine highly qualified teachers have been chosen by a district committee as semi-finalists in two statewide award programs. The educators are being considered as district nominees for the 2014 Kansas Teacher of the Year Award and the 2014 Emporia State University Master Teacher Award.

Elementary Kansas Teacher of the Year semi-finalists: Lori Bettis, kindergarten teacher at Bentwood Elementary School; Andrea Fyffe, kindergarten teacher at Clearwater Creek Elementary School; and Melissa Thomas, early childhood special education teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary School.

Secondary Kansas Teacher of the Year semi-finalists: Cynthia Roth, English teacher at Olathe South High School; Robin Schuberth, art teacher at Oregon Trail Middle School; and Kelly Ulmer, science teacher at Santa Fe Trail Middle School.

Emporia State University Master Teacher semi-finalists: Justin Love, band instructor at Olathe North High School; Bruce Wellman, science teacher at Olathe Northwest High School; and Kathleen Wilhite, math teacher at Olathe South.

District selection committees chose the semi-finalists from applications representing each school.

"The nominations demonstrate the really exceptional teachers we have here in Olathe," said Calin Kendall, president of the Olathe National Education Association. "My selection team struggled to narrow the field down to just three semi-finalists."

The semi-finalists will be videotaped in an interview and while teaching. The selection committee will meet Dec. 12 to select one district finalist for each of the three awards. Those individuals will then complete a portfolio prior to March 2013 (Kansas Teacher of the Year) or December 2013 (Master Teacher) deadlines.

All building nominees will be honored at the district's Teacher Recognition Ceremony at 5 p.m. April 9 at Frontier Trail Middle School.