Garden City, KS(westernkansasnews.com) Two USD 457 teachers were recognized Saturday, September 9th, at the Region 1 Kansas Teacher of the Year award ceremony in Salina, Kansas. Barbara Mercer, first grade teacher at Buffalo Jones Elementary School, and Wendi Terpstra, English teacher at Garden City High School and McKenzie Lueders, chemistry teacher at Dodge City High School were all nominated for the award, which recognizes excellent teaching in elementary and secondary classrooms across the state.
Each year, two district instructors are nominated for the Kansas Teacher of the Year program. The awards are sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education and affiliated with the National Teacher of the Year program. For 2018, nominations were sought in the spring and the district nominees were submitted to the state the first of May.
Nominations are made in each of four regions in the state. Region 1 covers the first U.S. congressional district in Kansas. 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. Gilbert “Gil” R. Still Jr., a fourth-grade teacher at Northwest Elementary School in Dodge City (Dodge City Unified School District 443), and Samantha “Sam” J. Neill, a high school English language arts teacher at Buhler High School (Buhler USD 313), were named Region 1 finalists for the 2018 Kansas Teacher of the Year award.
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