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Horizon Awards 2018

Salina USD 305 presents a Horizon Award to teachers who have demonstrated excellence during their first full year of teaching.

2018 Elementary Horizon Award – Jessica Steele, Cottonwood Elementary School

Jessica Steele, Elementary 2018 Horizon Teacher Jessica is professional and positive in her relationships and her calm and loving nature are perfect for the students of Cottonwood. She is able to quickly build relationships with students and maintain her classroom as a source of inspiration. During her first year of teaching, Jessica’s natural talents in the classroom were apparent as she was able to connect with her most difficult students.

Jessica’s dedication is evident in the hours she puts in, her efforts for students who need extra support, and her solid grasp of curriculum, strategies and interventions. She spends countless hours at school creating innovative and creative lessons for her students. She goes above and beyond for students who need extra support. Cottonwood Principal Kyle Griffitts adds, “Her students know she cares deeply for each and every one of them.”

Jessica builds great relationships with her student’s parents as well. Principal Griffitts received many compliments from parents about the difference Jessica was making in the classroom for their children. Jessica’s commitment and passion for the teaching profession promise a bright future.

Congratulations Jessica!


2018 Secondary Horizon Award – Shelby Dinkel, Central High School

Shelby Dinkel, 2018 Secondary Horizon Teacher Shelby is in her second year as a broadcast journalism instructor. Thanks to the 2014 bond improvements and Shelby’s excitement for digital and print journalism, Central’s new video broadcast program is underway. Her insights into the curriculum planning, technology purchasing and the overall vision of the program have been instrumental during program development.

Her hard work quickly built her reputation at Central High School as a talented and dynamic member of the digital media & journalism department. Her classroom involves hands-on learning, project-based learning and peer collaboration. With high expectations for herself and her students, she meets challenges head-on with enthusiasm and excitement.

Nate Showman, principal at Central High School, shares, “Her content knowledge, creativity, flexibility, and enthusiasm have impacted our building in a positive way.” Shelby is an asset to Central High School and is paving the way toward a remarkable career.

Congratulations Shelby!