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Renaissance Teachers of the Month

2018-2019 RENAISSANCE TEACHERS OF THE MONTH
   
   
 

May 2019

Hall

Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Michael Hall. He has been teaching a total of 20 years with all of those years at Central High where he teaches math. Michael says his inspiration to become a teacher/coach was his high school football coach Phil Katzenmeier. Now he says his inspiration is his wife, Lisa. Michael's message to parents is that education is a person's ticket out if they don't like the situation that they are in or if they want to have goals in life.  With an education, you can open doors and the possibilities are endless.

Waldron

Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Alyssa Waldron. This is her first year teaching at Lakewood Middle where she teaches 7/8 grade English. Alyssa says she chose teaching as her profession because she loves leading and helping kids be good people and students. She says her favorite subject is definitely the English department. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is building trust and relationships with students. Alyssa's message to parents is to trust your teachers and administrators. We all want your children to be successful just as much as you do.

Geist

South High's Teacher of the Month is Brenda Geist. Brenda teaches both French and math and has been teaching a total of 21-1/2 years with 19 of those being at South High. Brenda chose teaching as her profession because she has wanted to be a teacher since starting kindergarten. Brenda's favorite part of teaching is seeing students realize their potential and find success. She loves cheering for each student as they walk across the stage at graduation. Brenda's message to parents would be to start your children off right by reading to them every day and interacting with them. She also suggests model life-long learning by continuing to learn new things through hobbies, personal development, career skills, reading, community organizations, etc.

Pommer

South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Megan Pommer. She has been teaching 15 years with 1 year at South Middle where she teaches 6th grade English. Megan chose teaching as her profession because she wanted to make a personal connection with kids and hopefully make a difference in their lives in a positive way. She says her mom was her inspiration. The part of teaching Megan enjoys the most is hearing back from former students that she had a positive impact on their lives. Her message to parents is that all children need positive role models in their lives. Keep the communication open between home and school.

 

April 2019

Rohrer

Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Ben Rohrer. He has been teaching a total of 40 years with 25 of those years at Central High where he teaches instrumental music (band and jazz band) at Central High. He chose teaching as his profession because he loves music and being around the students. Ben says his dad was a professor. Ben says he loves being a part of all of his schools. He takes pride and ownership of every school he is involved with. The part of teaching Ben enjoys the most is being with the students. His message to parents is that their children will eventually get it and understand and hopefully it happens sooner rather than later.

Francisco

Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Amanda Francisco. She has been teaching for 20 years with 16 of those years at Lakewood Middle where she teaches vocal and general music. Amanda chose teaching as her profession because she says her inspiration is music. She loves to sing and relies on music to enrich her own life and the lives of her students. She says her favorite part of school is geting to work with Mr. Montoya. She says he is always positive and supportive. The part of teaching Amanda enjoys the most is letting each student that she comes in contact with know that she notices them and that they matter. Her message to parents is that she appreciates when students come to class using manners and are kind to and accepting of others. We all have to model this for our children because it directly affects the qualify of life for all of us.

Hanks

South High's Teacher of the Month is Kristen Hanks. Kristen just graduated from Bethany College and this is her first year teaching at South High where she teaches Algebra I. Kristen was inspired to become a teacher from all the amazing teachers she had growing up. Kristen's inspiration to teach was her high school math teacher, Ms. Knipp, who showed her how to treat students with empathy, compassion and how to make every class fun. Kristen says she enjoys teaching ELO the most because she loves doing circles and cultivating a classroom community. Her message to parents would be to encourage everyone to put the students in charge of their learning. Empower them with communication skills, teach them time-management and give them the support they need now so they are ready for their future college and careers.

Wittman

South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Rose Wittman. She has been teaching 33 years with 9 of those at South Middle where she teaches physical education. Rose chose teaching as her profession because she enjoyed her high school experience in physical education and wanted to be a coach. Her inspiration was Rosie Clymer and Judy Anderson, PE teachers and coaches. Rose says the part of teaching she enjoys the most is coming to school every day and interacting with the students. She says she loves her job. Rose says her message to parents to is keep your expectations high of your children and they will be better adults.

 

March 2019

Rose

Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Solomon Rose.  

Emig

Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Jayson Emig. He has been teaching for 18 years with 6 of those years at Lakewood Middle where he teaches history.  Jayson chose teaching as his profession because he had a positive experience growing up in school and wanted to make the same impact on his students. His inspiration was former teachers and coaches he had growing up. Jayson says he enjoys making relationships with the students and the challenge of creating lessons that they enjoy, but also challenge them. Jayson says the best part about teaching is being part of a working community that supports one another and wants what is best for the students. Jayson wants everyone to know that they have a great group of students at Lakewood that show on a daily basis their discipline, talents and abilities and a dedicated staff that cares about students and work hard to provide a well-rounded education.

Meyer

South High's Teacher of the Month is Kiley Meyer. This is her first year teaching at South High and her 7th year teaching at USD 305. She is currently a Family & Consumer science teacher at South High who teaches Intro to Human Services, Parenting & Family Studies, Lifespan and Teaching as a Career. She chose teaching as her career because her 5th grade teacher inspired her. Kiley's favorite part of teaching is making positive connections with students and letting them know she cares and they matter. She is passionate about helping students learn real world skills and preparing them for life after high school. Kiley's message to parents would be to lend an ear, let students talk and listen in a non-judgmental way.

Welsch

South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Bevin Welsch. She has been teaching three years, all at South Middle. Bevin chose teaching because she wanted to work with students. Her fourth grade teacher was her inspiration. Bevin says the part of teaching she enjoys the most is building relationships with students while they cook and sew. Her message to parents is that teaching is more than just teaching curriculum. There are many lessons taught that are not found in textbooks. Her favorite quote is by Dr. Wayne Dyer, "When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind."

 

February 2019

Abker

Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Karen Abker. She has been teaching a total of 28 years with 18 of those years at USD 305. Karen teaches sophomore, advance junior and AP literature senior English at Central. Karen chose teaching as her profession because she has always wanted to learn new information and she says her parents always encouraged her to read. Karen says the best part about school is Central's diversity. The students learn to work together and thrive with very differing groups and share beautiful friendships. Karen would like to tell parents that while we continue to hear that kids today don't care they and their teachers know most students do care. They need parental support now more than ever. Keep supporting them.

Reese

Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Angela Reese. She has been teaching for 16 years with 15 of those years at Lakewood Middle where she teaches intensive reading and co-taught 6th and 7th grade reading. Angela chose teaching as her profession because she wanted to work with and help students who faced challenges in their lives. Angela says her brother inspired her to follow this path in life. Angela says she enjoys watching students work hard and succeed even when they face challenges. She also enjoys working with the staff at Lakewood. The part of teaching Angela enjoys the most is meeting and working with a variety of students. Her message to parents is that each student has their own abilities to learn and be successful and we all need to work together to bring/make success possible . . . students are our future.

Cain

South High's Teacher of the Month is Ericka Cain. She has been teaching a total of 22 years with all of her years at South High where she is an adaptive special education teacher. Ericka chose teaching as her profession because of her love for school when she was in school. Ericka hopes to simulate the experience she felt by being a kind, caring and a positive role model for her students. Her favorite part of teaching is interacting with students and being an advocate for them. Her message to parents is to be an active participant in the education of your students. Relationships are key. Cultivate a strong work ethic and interpersonal skills that they need to be successful. Lastly, teach them to be kind.

Alley

South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Megan Alley. She has been teaching a total of 10 years with all of her years at South Middle. Megan chose teaching as her profession because it has always been a passion for her. She had lots of great mentors throughout her schooling and also in her family. Teaching provides so many opportunities for imagination and that's something her family valued. Megan says she likes pushing her students to use their imagination and creativiity and creating a learning environment that students feel comfortable in. Megan's message to parents is to be a participant, not a bystander.

   
 

January 2019

Hedberg

Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Jennifer Hedberg. She has been teaching four years at Salina Central where she teaches Family and Consumer Sciences: Culinary Arts. Jennifer chose teaching as her profession because she likes knowing that she is making an impact on the future of Kansas. Jennifer was inspired by a great art teacher she had in high school. Jennifer says she enjoys teaching at Central because of the amazing faculty and staff. Her favorite part of teaching is watching a student learn a new skill and succeed at a task they have never tried before. Her message to parents is thank you for all the support you give to Salina Central High School.

Wendt

Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Rachel Wendt. She is a first year teacher at Lakewood Middle where she teaches 7th and 8th grade science. Rachel chose teaching as a profession because she wanted to be a role model and trusted adult for teenagers. She says her coaches were her inpsiration. Rachel says she has always loved math and science and that's why she teaches science. Her favorite is lab days where students are learning hands-on. The part of teaching Rachel enjoys the most is seeing students grow academically and personally. Her message to parents is that she is thankful for her students and all Lakewood staff for helping her become a better teacher.

Cerny

South High's Teacher of the Month is Dan Cerny. He has been teaching a total of 28 years with the last 17 being at South High. Dan teaches Algebra 2, Trig and Pre-Calculus at South High. He chose teaching because he married a school teacher and with his duties in the military, it involved a lot of instruction, which led him to teaching. Dan's favorite part of teaching is the interactions with his students. He says everyday is a new challenge, concern and reward. Dan says he has a tendency to be a quiet, private person so teaching forces him to socialize with students, staff and the community. Dan's message to parents is to stay active in your child's education. Talk with their teachers, get to know as much about their 'school' life as you can, support their extracurricular activities, be a positve influence and enjoy their time with you because in a few short years they will start their own life.

Diehl

South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Amy Diehl. She has been teaching a total of 23 years and is a 6th grade science/reading teacher at South Middle. Amy chose teaching as her profession because she had great teachers growing up and she loves to work with students. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is watching students grow and learn new things. Amy's message to parents is that when we work together we can help students succeed. Stay involved with your child's education.

 

December 2018

McDiffett

Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Danton McDiffett. He has been teaching for 33 years with this being his first year at Salina Central where he teaches Senior English and Intensive Reading. Danton chose teaching as his profession when his college teacher showed him how an English teacher can make a difference. He says he loves reading and writing and wanted to pass this on to his students. Danton says the interaction with his students is the highlight of his job. He loves the support and advice from the other members of the English department. Danton says he enjoys seeing students gain insight or skills they may not have had before they began studying a specific piece of literature. Danton's message to parents is that we have terrific students with unbelievable potential but they need our support in all possible ways.

Haynes

Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Kathleen Haynes. She has been teaching a total of 34 years with 29 years in Salina. Kathleen teaches eighth grade math at Lakewood Middle. Kathleen says that she didn't really choose teaching as her profession - it chose her. The part of teaching Kathleen enjoys the most is making the complex simple and interacting with the students. Her message to parents and the community is no excuses, no rationalizations. Accountability is a good thing.  It prepares our kids for success.

Mosher

South High's Teacher of the Month is Matt Mosher. He has been teaching a total of 23 years. Matt has been teaching at South High since 2013 where he is a gifted teacher. Matt made his decision in his early 20's that he wanted to teach young teens after working at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka. Matt discovered he enjoyed the variety of interactions with young individuals and he saw education as an opportunity to promote growth and help students navigate the difficulties of becoming an adult. Matt's favorite part of teaching is the variety of interactions that he experiences such as refining an essay, questioning a student's reasoning in a discussion or watching his students compete at scholar bowl meets. Matt's message to parents is that students want to improve the community, be involved in the process of school improvement and to be heard.

Lumley

South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Miranda Lumley. She has been teaching a total of 11 years with all of those years teaching sixth grade at South Middle where she currently teaches math/reading. Miranda says she chose teaching as her profession because she enjoys working with youth. She wanted to be like the amazing teachers she had when she was in school. Miranda says she loves when students come into her classroom and tell her they used or saw a concept they just learned in their everyday life. Her message to parents is that when we work together, we can help all students have a vision, be a learner, embrace the struggle, feed their passion and own their education.

   
 

November 2018

Pfeifer

Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Traci Pfeifer. She has been teaching for 18 years and all of those years have been at Salina Central where she teaches PE/Health and Sports Medicine. Traci chose teaching as her profession because she really liked sports in high school and wanted to teach children how to stay fit and teach them games they could play for a lifetime. She says the best thing about Central is the staff. They have a great PE staff that helps each other out and the administration is very supportive. Traci says that being a PE/health teacher she usually has freshmen so she gets to make a connection with them their first year of high school and watch them grow over the next few years. Her message to parents is that Salina Central is a great school that offers a lot of opportunities for all. She would like to tell parents to stay involved in what their child is doing in school and support them.

Ediger

Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Mandy Ediger This is her 16th year of teaching with this being her second year at Lakewood Middle where she is a 6-8th grade self-contained special education teacher. She chose teaching as her profession because she loves helping others learn and grow. Mandy says the best part about school is reading and the part she enjoys the most is building relationships with amazing staff and students. Her message to parents is that our young people are amazing.

Seibel

South High's Teacher of the Month is Gary Seibel. He has been teaching a total of 29 years with 23 of those years being at South High where he teaches cabinet making and drafting. Gary chose teaching as his profession primarily due to one of his college professors. After interacting with Gary, his professor encouraged him to pursue a career in teaching and so he did. Gary's favorite part of teaching is the creativity and pride that his students display when they finally complete a project. Gary's message to parents is to encourage your students to try new things when they are at school and encourage them to get involved in lots of sports and activities.

Chrisman

South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Kaysie Chrisman. She has been teaching a total of 11 years with all of those years being at South Middle where she is an 8th grade math teacher. Kaysie says she has known she wanted to be a teacher since second grade and she had some great high school math teachers who inspired her to add math to her licensure. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is getting to know her students and sharing her passion for learning. Kaysie's message to parents is that students need support and positive role models both at school and at home so please continue to support and partner with educators to bring out the best in our students.

 

October 2018

Rohleder

Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Teree Rohleder. This is her 24th year of teaching and her eighth year at Salina Central where she teaches English I and Advanced English I. Teree had two role models who were her inspiration. Her dad, who was her middle school math teacher and her high school debate coach. She loved debate and coached debate for 16 years. Teree says she loves the fact that every August is like a do-over, something that she can improve on each year. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is interacting with students and watching them grow as people. She also loves hearing from her students after she has taught them and find out what they have accomplished. Her message to parents is always pay attention to your students' education. Monitor grades online, e-mail or call teachers with questions and talk to your child about what they are doing in school. Your support is vital to their success.

Kinion

Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Elizabeth Kinion. This is her 19th year of teaching and her first year at Lakewood Middle as a Library Media Specialist. She chose teaching as her career because of her second grade teacher, Miss Barbara Willis, who was her inspiration. Elizabeth says she was always devoted to her students and their learning and she always made her want to do her best. Elizabeth says she has always loved to read and now as a librarian she gets to be surrounded by books all day. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is the excitement in students when they learn something new and seeing students' enthusiasm for books and learning. Her message to parents is to encourage students to keep reading and learning. Keep visiting the library.

Slade

South High's Teacher of the Month is TJ Slade. This is his first year teaching business and technology at South High. TJ chose teaching as a profession because it gives him the opportunity to make a lasting impact on every student inside and outside the classroom. TJ's inspiration were his parents because they are both amazing teachers. TJ's favorite part of teaching is the relationships he forms with students. He enjoys discovering what a student's interests and likes are so that he can form better relationships with the students. TJ is the webmaster for South High, is the Business Professionals of America sponsor and also coaches the 8th grade Salina South Middle school football team. His message to parents is to get involved with school by initiating a conversation with a teacher and if you have a great idea for a project, e-mail a teacher. TJ says he loves when community members can share a work experience that will enhance his students' learning.

Frost

South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Amy Frost. This is her 17th year of teaching and fourth year at South Middle where she teaches 8th grade Career and Life. Amy says unfortunately they didn't have a Careers and Life Planning class when she was in high school. When she graduated her mother told her the way she loves kids, she would be a great teacher. Amy says thank goodness she followed her mom's advice. The best part of teaching for Amy is getting to know the students. They make her laugh every single day. Amy says that when you love what you do, it isn't work. Her message to parents is to continue to support your students at home. It makes a teacher's life so much easier. She also wants to thank parents for letting her be a part of their childrens' lives.

 

 

September 2018

 Stauffer

Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Michael Stauffer. This is his third year teaching at Central High where he teaches World History, Introduction to Public Service Careers and American Justice. Michael chose teaching as his profession because he loves history and it sparked his interest. He loves the culture of school, the learning, connections and spirit of high school. He says Mr. VanSickle, his 7th grade history teacher was his inspiration. Michael says he likes something to belong to, something to believe in and school spirit which is what Mustang spirit is all about. The part of teaching he enjoys the most is showing students their rights as a citizen, how to act in society and how to challenge themselves. Michael says he really enjoys the culture of Central. He always strives to make himself, the students and Central as a whole better. It is his goal to make it a great place to learn, have fun and be a part of something.
 

 Billinger

Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Michael Billinger. This is the beginning of his second year at Lakewood Middle where he teaches Digital Literacy. Michael said he was inspired by his teachers who made him want to go to school every day. They made school fun and enjoyable and it is his goal to be that teacher for as many students as he can. He says what he likes best about Lakewood Middle is having students say that his class is their favorite class. The part of teaching Michael enjoys the most is helping students with problems that happen outside of his classroom. His message to parents is that from what he has seen, most issues from student to teacher or teacher to parent comes from miscommunications. He hopes more people will ask questions before demanding answers. 

 

 

 

 Landauer

South High's Teacher of the Month is Lesa Landauer. She is a special education teacher at South High where she has been teaching for 28 years. Although she has been teaching for 28 years, this is her first year at South High. Lesa chose teaching as her profession due to the numerous role models in her life that were teachers. Both of her parents were teachers. Lesa cares about children and teaching gives her the opportunity to have an active role in her students' learning. She enjoys the challenge that comes with teaching; specifically, she loves helping students reach their highest level of success and independence and she says it is super satisfying to watch a child smile with excitement when they accomplish a task or concept. Lesa advocates that all parents, guardians and community members of Salina must play a role in developing the lives of our children. Her message of being actively involved in a child's life, both inside and outside the classroom, will result in more success when teachers partner together.

 

 

Crawford

South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Kandis Crawford. She has been teaching for 18 years, a paraprofessional for five years and a school library aide for two years. Kandis chose teaching as her profession because she wanted to share her love for reading and writing with students. Her inspiration was her high school math teacher, Mrs. Husband, because she believed all her students could succeed. The part of teaching Kandis enjoys the most is celebrating with students who continue to make progress in their reading skills. Her message to parents and the community is how important reading is for our children and is a major key in their success as young adults.