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Renaissance Teachers of the Month

2016-2017 RENAISSANCE TEACHERS OF THE MONTH
   
   
  May 2018
   
Petty Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Brooke Petty. She has been teaching a total of 7 years and has been teaching for 3 years at Central High where she teaches agriculture and welding. Brooke chose teaching as her profession as a way to combine her love for agriculture and hands-on learning with high school students. Brooke said she had so many great teachers in high school that inspired her. Brooke says she loves all the opportunities that are available to students through course offerings and extra-curricular activities. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is creating meaningful relationships with students and being able to help them make connections from the content to their personal lives. Brooke would like parents and community to know that we have some outstanding teachers and administrators who truly care about students' success.
   
Griffitts Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Michele Griffitts. She has been teaching 24 total years with 6 of those years being at Lakewood Middle where she teaches grades 6-8 ESL. Michele chose teaching as her profession as an avenue to make a positive diffference. She was inspired by many adults in her life including her family, friends and church and she wanted to inspire others. Michele says she enjoys working with language learners. They have created a "family" of those who strive to embrace the differences in others. The best part of teaching for Michele is feeling excited to see her students every day. She loves laughing and working together. She says it is an honor to see students reach their goals and feel proud of themselves. Michele says our community has a lot to be proud of. Students are learning so many different things and preparing for jobs that haven't even been invented yet. Our fast-paced, ever-changing world is in good hands.
   
   
Montoy South High's Teacher of the Month is Susan Montoy. She has been teaching at South High for 34 years where she teaches business, graphic design, web page design and computer classes. She also taught at Salina Tech. Susan chose teaching as her profession bcause she always wanted to be a teacher and she loves sports. She set out to be a physical education teacher and coach. She fell in love with computers and switched up her direction, but still wanted to be in education. Susan says her inspiration was her family. Her husband, Reuben, and her both wanted to show their five children and our students what hard work can accomplish. The part of teaching Susan enjoys the most is the interaction with the students and knowing that the skills she is teaching them will be useful in their professional as well as personal lives. She says it is a fantastic feeling to have students come back and thank you for what you taught them. Susan says the students have kept her young and strong and she has learned so much and will miss the daily interaction with the students and staff.
   
Armbrust South Middle School's Teacher of the Month is Ginger Armbrust. She has been teaching 22 years; 20 at South Middle where she teaches 7th grade math. Ginger chose teaching as her profession because she always wanted to be a teacher at a young age. She had wonderful teachers growing up and has a gift for working with students. The part of teaching Ginger enjoys the most is the staff at South Middle. The teachers work together, support each other but most of all have the students' best interest all the time. She says she enjoys working with 7th graders who want to learn, try to push themselves and really learn the concepts brought before them. Ginger's message to parents is that middle school is a hard time for students. This age group needs the adults in their life to be ever present, listen, and help them become productive members of society as well as guide them to make good, healthy choices.
   
   
  April 2018
   
Paradis Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Katrina Paradis. She has been teaching at Central High for 25 years where she teaches English. Katrina chose teaching as her profession because she loves kids. Her first grade teacher and high school forensics coach were her inspirations. She says they taught with kindness, humor and love. Katrina says the best part about teaching at Central is the students, the staff and administration and their diversity. She also adds that Central High looks great, too. The part of teaching Katrina enjoys the most is realizing and recognizing the gifts each of her students possess; they challenge and fulfill her daily. Her message to parents and the community is thank you for supporting the bond issue. She says our schools look beautiful and represent the pride and belief we have in offering a superior education to all students in Salina.
   
Cleveland Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Bev Cleveland. She has been teaching 27 total years with USD 305 as an art teacher with 12 years at Lakewood Middle School. Bev chose teaching as her profession because she loves learning. She says family and friends were positive role models, especially an art teacher who inspired her to someday become a teacher. Bev says there are students at Lakewood who love learning as much as she does. Students and colleagues are her daily inspiration to continue to grow, both personally and professionally. Bev says she enjoys the students who are determined to succeed. These students make her job fun. Her message to parents is to find ways to be involved. Take time to share in a child's interest. Listen and encourage your child to practice kindness, caring and respect for themselves and others. Support students and the arts in the community.
   
   
Lytton South High's Teacher of the Month is Jeanine Lytton. She has been teaching one year at South High where she teaches Algebra I. Jeanine chose teaching as her profession because she enjoys learning new things and finding solutions to problems. Jeanine says she came from a long line of teachers (great uncles, dad, siblings and cousins). The part of teaching she enjoys the most is the different personalities of the students. Jeanine's message to parents is that it is good to struggle. Wrong answers can teach you more than right ones and one of the greatest secrets to doing well in math is to be in class every single day.
   
   
Norton South Middle School's Teacher of the Month is Amy Norton. She has been teaching for 24 years with 15 of those years at South Middle School where she teaches 6th grade social studies and reading. Amy chose teaching as her profession because she enjoys working with kids. Her inspiration growing up was playing school with her grandma. The part of teaching Amy enjoys the most is the variety. Each day is different. She says teaching ancient civilizations to students is fun because they see connections to our world today. She enjoys building relationships with the students and learning their interests. Her message to parents is to encourage your kids to continue learning ... be a sponge.
   
  March 2018
   
Jett Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Melinda Jett. She has been teaching at Central High for 6 years where she teaches English 9 and Reading 9 and 11. Melinda chose teaching as her profession because she had two fabulous teachers in high school, Ms. Webb and Mrs. Churchman, whose passion and dedication was at the forefront everyday. Melinda says the best part of teaching is connecting with the students, seeing their growth, watching them decide to engage in school and dream. Her message to parents is spend time with your students - they need us. Turn off screens, get outside, read together and just be present to talk. They may act like they don't want that, but our students are yearning to feel valued and connected.
   
Ibarra Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Pedro Ibarra. He has been teaching for 19 years with 4 of them being at Lakewood Middle where he teaches 7th grade social studies. Pedro chose teaching as his profession because he wanted to have the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of his students. His inspiration were his two high school teachers, Mr. Bogart and Mrs. Tiechmann. Pedro says his favorite part of teaching history is when his students realize the benefits of studying history. The part of teaching he enjoys the most is the relationships he has built with his students and the staff he works with everyday. His message to parents is that as a parent you are your child's most important teacher. The more involved you are, the better your child's chances of getting a good education. Your attitude about education is a key predictor of academic success. If you care, they will care. If they see you value learning, they will do the same.
   
Sellers South High's Teacher of the Month is Lindsey Sellers. She has been in the district for 13 years. She taught science her first year at Lakewood Middle and the last 12 years have been at South High serving as a school counselor. She is currently serving as the director of PBD (Performance Based Diploma) program. Lindsey chose teaching as her profession because she has always wanted to be a teacher. The opportunity to change lives and help others is what makes her job one of the best. The most enjoyable part of her job is working with students and their families providing support and guidance as they prepare for life after high school. Her message to parents is: In the words of Curtis Stevens, "The enemy of progress is the demand for perfection." Always remember to be committed, stay focused and keep a growth mindset. Your goals and dreams are never out of reach with hard work and persistance.
   
   
Conner South Middle School's Teacher of the Month is Brent Conner. He has been teaching for five years with four of those years at South Middle School where he teaches 8th grade physical science. He chose teaching as his profession to help students achieve. He was inspired by one of his middle school teachers when he was younger because they pushed him to be better. The part of teaching Brent enjoys is the interaction with the students and being able to challenge each student at an individual level so they can be successful. He also enjoys coaching the boys basketball team. He enjoys the moment when he sees a student actually get what he wants them to understand, the "aha" moment. His message to parents is to get behind your students and continue to push them to be better at school, at home, and in the community. Be interactive with the students so they know they are supported.
   
  February 2018
   
Jones Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Bryce Jones. He has been teaching for seven years with all of them being at Central where he teaches English. Bryce chose teaching as his profession because he liked the idea of helping those around him and contributing to the community. Bryce says the English and drama department at Central are awesome and they both have made him a better teacher and person. The part of teaching he enjoys the most is seeing the students take on challenges they find daunting and helping them realize they are capable and resilient. His message to parents is to keep supporting your community services.
   
Fenn Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Lexi Fenn. She has been teaching at Lakewood Middle for 4 years where she teaches 8th grade science and 6th grade physical education. Lexi chose teaching as her profession because she has always wanted to be a teacher. She says the best part about teaching at Lakewood Middle are the students whom she loves. The part of teaching Lexi enjoys the most is coaching 7th grade volleyball, 8th grade basketball and high school soccer. She enjoys watching them improve throughout the season. Her message to everyone is to always try to do the right thing even when no one is watching.
   
Bradbury South High's Teacher of the Month is Jane Bradbury. This is her ninth year at South High where she teaches freshman earth space science. She is also in her second year of teaching one culinary essentials class. Jane has been teaching for approximately 15 years and began her career in Kansas City, KS. Jane chose teaching as her career because of the students. She says she is the crazy person who enjoys middle school age students. She tries to provide an environment of structure, life skill expectations and discipline. She says showing respect to adults and property is a fundamental life lesson. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is helping students believe in their own self-worth. Her message to parents is thank you for having confidence in our schol district. She says our high schools will hopefully produce well prepared young adults who pursue post graduate careers that are meaningful and monitarily rewarding.
   
Bishop South Middle School's Teacher of the Month is Tim Bishop. He has been teaching for 13 years with four of those years being at South Middle where he teaches 7th/8th physical education/health. Tim says he chose teaching as his profession because his whole life he has been involved in athletics so it seemed a natural fit to become a physical education teacher. He loves working with students and helping them improve and get better. Tim says his father, a college professor for 36 years, was a big inspiration to him. The part of teaching Tim enjoys the most is getting to know his students and forming positive relationships. He says working with the students on a daily basis, watching them grow and improve and being a part of that is a wonderful feeling. Tim says he has the best job in the world and working with middle school students is awesome!
   
   
  January 2018
   
Bonar Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Billy Jo Bonar. She has been teaching for 14 years with 8 of those being at Central High where she teaches Earth Science and Performance Based Diploma LPBD. Billy Jo chose teaching as her profession because each day there are plenty of opportunitites to make a difference in students lives. Her inspiration were her teachers in high school who always went out of their way to make learning fun and make sure as a student you knew they cared about you. She wanted to give that feeling back to young adults. Billy Jo says the best aspect about teaching at Salina Central is the diversity amongst the student population. Every day she is able to learn something from the students about their culture or interests. She says the best part of teaching is when the students achieve the 'aha' moment and succeed in their school lives. Her message to parents is to be supportive of your child, their school and their teachers.
   
   
Kay-Higgins Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Jennifer Kay-Higgins. She has been teaching for 19 years with 14 of those years being at Lakewood Middle where she teaches 6th grade reading. Jennifer's inspiration to become a teacher comes from her deep passion for learning. Jennifer says her parents and other family members encouraged her to become a teacher. Jennifer says reading is her favorite subject to teach. It's her vocation and vacation. She says she relishes reading as a personal interest and loves that she gets to share that interest through her work to inspire her students. Her favorite part of teaching is the connection she makes with each student and she loves when former students stop by for visits. The message she wants everyone to remember is that opportunities to read and learn are everywhere; there really is something for everyone. Discover what it is you want to explore and go for it.
   
   
Cook South High's Teacher of the Month is Kim Cook. This is her sixth year as the school nurse at South High. Kim says she loves working at South High and being around the wonderful students and staff. Her goal each day is to work together with South High staff to help give each student an equal chance to receive an upstanding education in order to help them reach their fullest potential. Kim's message to parents is to give time to your children and to promote education at a young age. Promoting education and making children feel important will give them the inspiration and confidence needed to succeed in life.
   
   
Goll South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Micheal Goll. He has been teaching for 38 years with 29 of those years being at South Middle where he teaches digital literacy. Micheal was inspired by his own teachers from elementary school through college to become a teacher. He wanted to be like them and make a difference in other people's lives. The part of teaching Micheal enjoys the most is the relationships he has built with students, faculty and staff. Micheal enjoys watching students achieve in a semester what they were certain they would never be able to do. His message to parents is to support your teachers and coaches. As a team we can inspire our students to work towards their own dreams.
   
   
  December 2017
   
Kleiber Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Peggy Kleiber. She has been teaching Medical Investigations for 5 years at Central High. Peggy has been teaching for 30 years. Peggy chose teaching as her profession because she was inspired by a high school instructor and she knew she wanted to work with people. Peggy says she really enjoys hearing students talk about what they are learning and their successes. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is sponsoring a Career Technical Student organization. She enjoys listening to students' first experiences in their medical internships. Peggy's message to parents is to read to your children, spend time with your children, but most of all, tell your children you love them.
   
Lillard Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Janelle Lillard. She has been teaching for 13 years with 6 of those years being at Lakewood Middle where she teaches math and special education. Janelle's inspiration was her grandma. She says her grandma was a teacher and she loved going to her school. Janelle chose teaching as her profession because she likes to help students be successful. Janelle says she enjoys being in the math classes this year. She has always liked math and now she gets to be part of the teaching process. Janelle says she loves the moment a student understands what is being taught and the expression on their face is priceless. Her message to parents is that it takes a community to raise a child. We all need to be working together to help our kids become successful.
   
   
Demaree South High's Teacher of the Month is Tammy Demaree. She has been teaching a total of 16 years in New Mexico, Leavenworth County Special Education Cooperative and Shawnee Mission Public Schools. This is Tammy's 2nd year at Salina South as the speech-language pathologist. Tammy says she was inspired by her mom who was a special education teacher and not afraid to do things that were hard. Tammy's favorite part of therapy is watching students have a "light bulb moment" when they discover they have achieved a goal. Her message to students is to not be afraid to do things that are hard for you because failure is practice for success.
   
   
Allen South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Erica Allen. She has been teaching 7th grade English at South Middle for 6 years. This is her 7th year of teaching and she taught one year at Heusner Elementary. Erica chose teaching as her profession because she was inspired by the talented teachers who taught her. She also loves learning and wanted to inspire others to find joy in education. Erica says the best part of being an English teacher is helping students express who they are and what they stand for and learning about their unique trials and tribulations through their writing. She says she has a supportive and knowledgeable family of teachers that surround her. Her message to parents and the community is thank you for your support of public education and continue advocating for quality academic fine arts and extracurricular programs in our schools.
   
   
  November 2017
   
Moon Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Brandy Moon. She has been teaching special education for 9 years at Central High. Brandy chose teaching as her profession because she loves working with students. She has always loved playing teacher. Her uncle was a teacher when she was growing up and she loved hearing about it. Her favorite part about teaching are the "aww" moments that students have when they have worked so hard and the light bulb kicks on. The part of teaching she enjoys the most are the students. Her message to parents is that in life everyone can succeed if we all work together to reach that success.
   
Lytton Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Jocelyn Lytton. She has been teaching math for 5 years with 4 of those years being at Lakewood Middle. Jocelyn chose teaching as her profession because she loved helping her peers learn when she was in school and she had an amazing math teacher who inspired her to teach math. Jocelyn says she loves the math department. She says they work together to lighten the load of the daily tasks and are always sharing ideas. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is getting to know her students and the light bulb moments. Her message to parents is to get involved in the schools and come see what's going on at Lakewood Middle.
   
   
Baker South High's Teacher of the Month is Jeri Baker. She has been teaching a total of 21 years in Northeastern Kansas and Northwestern Missouri. This is Jeri's 3rd year in the Functional Learning Center in South High's special education department. Jeri also co-teaches PE at South High. Jeri chose teaching as her profession because she comes from a family of educators. Her mother was also a special education teacher. Her favorite part of teaching is the look of pride on the students' faces from their effort in learning. Jeri would like to remind everyone to always try to do the right thing, even when no one is watching.
   
Lee South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Gina Lee. She has been teaching 7th, 8th and modified art for special education students at South Middle for 23 years. She started teaching in 1989 and her 29th year of teaching is also her 27th year with USD 305. Gina chose teaching as her profession because her granddad and father were both teachers and had a passion for helping young people find joy in learning and their positive examples helped her choose this career. Gina says teaching at South Middle is being a part of a larger community that has the ability to care for one another like family and the staff and students encourage and celebrate together. She says the best part of instructing is encouraging and building relationships with students and it is never dull to help someone discover talent hidden inside them. Her message to parents is to keep reaching out to your children. Give them the quality time they crave because they need to feel valuable and deserve to be heard.
   
   
   October 2017
   
Johannes Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Stephanie Johannes. She has been teaching mathematics for 2 years at Central High. Stephanie chose teaching as her profession because she believes education, whether formal or informal, has the power to change the world. Stephanie says the best part about school is that every day brings a different challenge. The part of teaching she enjoys the most is connecting with students and watching them succeed.
   
Stockwell Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Cody Stockwell. He has been teaching special education and social skills for 5 years at Lakewood Middle. Cody chose teaching as his profession because he wanted to help students in a positive way. His inspiration was the way his teachers helped him when he was growing up. He says what he likes best about school is that he enjoys co-teaching many different classes. The part of teaching Cody enjoys the most is interacting with students and teachers. His message to parents and the community is that there are lots of great students at Lakewood Middle. 
   
Todd South High's Teacher of the Month is Alyssa Todd. She teaches junior English and freshman reading classes at South High where she has been teaching for 3 years. Prior to that, Alyssa taught at Frederic Remington High School in Whitewater, Kansas. Alyssa chose teaching as her profession because she has always enjoyed learning and had many amazing teachers growing up. Her mother is also a teacher so she played a tremendous role in her decision to enter teaching. The part of teaching Alyssa enjoys the most is watching students grow as learners and as individuals over the course of the school year. Her message to parents and the community is that it takes all of us to help our students be successful. Please continue to support Salina schools.
   
Stewart South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Caleb Stewart. He has been teaching 8th grade English for 2 years with both of them at South Middle. Caleb chose teaching as his profession because he wanted to make a difference. He had so many great teachers that pushed him to his full potential and he wanted to be that teacher in someone else's life. The part of teaching he enjoys the most is the students. He says coming to work everyday and getting to teach 135 unique and ever-changing students is nothing short of amazing. He enjoys learning about his students and learning new and engaging ways to teach a concept. His message to parents is thank you for giving teachers like myself the opportunity to work with your student. The support you provide truly makes a difference in our teaching of students. He says he is very proud to work at USD 305.
   
   
  September 2017
 Finch

 

Central High School's Teacher of the Month is Doug Finch. He has been teaching 29 years and 30 years coaching with 14 years being at Central High. Doug teaches PE and Leadership at Central High. Doug chose teaching as his profession because he loves coaching basketball, but he soon realized when he was around students he is coaching all the time; in classrooms, hallways, cafeteria, etc. Doug says his parents and Cloud County basketball coach Dennis Erkenbrack inspired him to become a teacher/coach. His favorite subject is PE because students will always be concerned about their health and wellness, so the lifetime benefit is huge. He says therefore his class is more about participation and less about competition. Doug says the relationships you build as a teacher and coach are amazing. He says his door is always open to any student at Central High. His message to parents and the community is that Central High is an amazing school that provides something for every student to get involved in, whether it be a club, organization or sport. The opportunities are endless.
 

Doll  

Lakewood's Teacher of the Month is Laurie Doll. She has been teaching a total of 29 years with 12 years being at Lakewood Middle. She teaches Intensive Reading Grades 6-8. Laurie says she chose teaching as her profession because she had great teachers that were good role models and influenced her to become a teacher. Her favorite part about teaching is seeing students who work hard finally achieve their goal. Laurie says she enjoys the people she works with and loves seeing students that want to be successful work hard and find success. Her message to parents is to talk to your child about their day. Show them you care about them and that they are important in your life. 

 

 

 

 Wagoner

South High's Teacher of the Month is Mary Wagoner. She teaches Band at South High where she has been teaching for 2 years. Mary chose teaching as her profession because she wanted to pass on her love of music to students. Mary says her inspiration was her band teacher. The part of teaching Mary enjoys the most is seeing her students' successes and growth. Her message to parents and the community is to keep students involved in music.

 

 

Gerry

South Middle's Teacher of the Month is Matt Gerry. He has been teaching for 15 years all of them at South Middle. He teaches guitar/6th grade music. Matt chose teaching as his profession because he has an intensive love for music and wants to share that with his students. The part of teaching Matt enjoys the most is how South Middle has so many well-rounded students and how many are involved in lots of activities and are very supportive of each other. He loves to see his students excel in their performances and watch them grow in their abilites and confidence. His message to parents and the community is the arts are an important part of our children's education. Support and advocate for the arts in our school.