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Meet Nancy Bauer and Misty Bradley, 2017-2018 Teachers of the Year

Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year

Honored by Board of Education

Nancy Bauer, music teacher at Schilling Elementary, and Misty Bradley, math teacher at South Middle School, have been selected as USD 305 Teachers of the Year. They were honored August 22, 2017 by the Salina Board of Education. As part of their recognition, Bauer and Bradley each received the H.E. and Erma Lee Nuss Teacher of the Year award; personalized watches donated by Randy Johnson, Jostens; and gift certificates donated by Martinelli's Little Italy.

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 in late March.

Elementary Teacher of the Year: Nancy Bauer, Schilling Elementary

Nancy Bauer, Schilling Elementary Music Teacher Nancy Bauer received her bachelor’s degree from Bethany College, and her master’s degree in music from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Before joining the Schilling Elementary School 12 years ago as a music instructor, she taught in school districts in Oklahoma and Texas.

Nancy combines both vocal and instrumental music in her classroom. Under her skillful guidance, music brings together students from diverse backgrounds to produce an artistic experience. The child-centered, curriculum-based approach in Nancy’s classroom enables her to meet the needs of her students no matter what their learning style.

She volunteers extra time in the morning to have a 4th and 5th grade “Honor Choir” that performs at the mall and local retirement homes. For the last two years Nancy accompanied Schilling boys to Bethany College for Real Men Sing involving over 800 young men from around Kansas. The musically affirming experience introduced her students to a college campus. During that year she was named 2016-17 Outstanding Elementary Music Teacher in North Central District of Kansas Music Educators.

For the last two years Nancy has also volunteered to direct the “Schilling Elementary Choir” which is made up of both classified and certified staff at Schilling. The choir performs at the board office as well as visits seven to eight retirement homes in the community during the holidays. Nancy is the elementary music coordinator for USD 305 and has served on the PBIS and curriculum committees. She was a trainer for Ruby Payne’s “A Framework for Understanding Poverty”, and is on the board for the Kansas Orff Association as well as a member of several other professional organizations.

Nancy’s passion for music is always evident in her daily teaching, but what shines the most is her passion for students. She knows that music can create connections between people. Nancy shares, “As the world becomes increasingly connected through commerce and the internet, we need students to understand the difference between people but also that we are more alike than different.”

Secondary Teacher of the Year: Misty Bradley
Misty Bradley, South Middle School Math Teacher

Misty Bradley received her bachelor’s in education from Kansas Wesleyan University and earned her master’s in education from Baker University. Before joining South Middle School five years ago as a math teacher, she taught in the Twin Valley School District.

Misty has embraced the growth mindset and it radiates in her classroom. She is constantly seeking new ways to challenge those who learn math more quickly while providing small group and individualized instruction for those who learn more slowly. Her kind and friendly demeanor makes math accessible to those who find math challenging. She helps students feel as though taking a risk is non-threatening.

Misty is known for her innovative and diversified teaching technique. She introduced a flipped learning experience that provided YouTube note videos for her students to watch at home as homework. Assignments that would traditionally be given for homework were then completed during class time. On a daily basis, her classroom includes blended learning, STEM challenges, and differentiated instruction.

A leader at South Middle School, Misty is a Safe and Civil Schools Resource/Trainer. She serves on the PBIS committee, helps with after-school tutoring and is a school trainer for Mastery Connect. She is a leader for the Mentor Program and for the School-wide Discipline Initiative. Misty was named the 2016 Innovative Risk Taker at South Middle School.

In shifting from a traditional classroom to a blended classroom, Misty has created a progressive and effective experience for her students. Her blended classroom empowers students to take charge of their learning. Instead of copying down notes from a lecture, they use hands-on activities, videos and computer programs. Misty explains, “My classroom has become a student-centered learning area. It teaches students how to be respectful, honest, hardworking individuals who strive for perfection but understand there are always challenges to overcome.” She is committed to doing her part, along with parents and community, to raise the next generation of individuals who will make us proud for years to come.

Congratulations Nancy and Misty!