Nine Olathe teachers are semifinalists for statewide awards

A district committee has chosen nine highly qualified educators as semifinalists in two statewide award programs. The educators are being considered as district nominees for the 2014 Kansas Teacher of the Year Award and the 2015 Emporia State University Master Teacher Award.

Elementary Kansas Teacher of the Year semifinalists: Lyndsay Cast, fifth-grade teacher at Bentwood Elementary School; Gayla Posch, fourth-grade teacher at Tomahawk Elementary School; and Betsy Prestridge, fourth-grade teacher at Countryside Elementary School. Continue reading

Collaborative educator program marks 20th year

The Olathe Public Schools and Emporia State University (ESU) will hold a 20th anniversary celebration for their collaborative Professional Development School (PDS) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1 in the Instructional Resource Center, 14090 Black Bob Road. All former principals, mentors and ESU interns who participated in the program are encouraged to attend.

Twenty years ago, a group of four educators from the district and ESU discussed the possibility of a joint program to benefit current and future teachers. The group included Jack Skillett and Tes Mehring of ESU and Alison Banikowski and LuAnn Hermreck from the district. Skillett, then dean of the Teacher’s College at ESU, suggested preparing teachers in the same way that physicians learn their skills: in a practical, hands-on learning environment. Continue reading

Teacher academy application deadline extended

Kansas high school students interested in careers in education have an extra few weeks to apply for the Kansas Future Teacher Academy.

With the previous deadline of March 15 having passed, applications will now be accepted through April 12.

“We have received 30 applications from young women in high schools across the state,” said Bob Aman, director of the academy. “I challenge each high school counselor to find encourage at least one young man from their student body to apply to the academy.”

Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Aman said, only 2 percent of pre-K and kindergarten teachers and 18 percent of elementary and middle-school teachers are men. In secondary school, 42 percent of teachers are men. Continue reading

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