School district honors teachers, staff
As they wrapped up the 2001-2002 school year, Tonganoxie school staff members gathered last Friday for breakfast.
"Are you pleased at what you've done with kids this year," Superintendent Richard Erickson asked. "I hope you are because you've done some incredible things."
During the breakfast, Erickson honored some exemplary teachers and staff members, as well as some who are leaving the district.
The superintendent also presented Friends of Education awards to: Richard Riedel, The Mirror newspaper staff and the Community Education and Volunteer Center.
These teachers were honored:
Sara Saunders and Julie Frank, who were nominated for Kansas Teacher of the Year award. Saunders teachers third-graders at Tonganoxie Elementary School, while Frank teaches seventh-grade math at Tonganoxie Junior High School.
Kathy Harrell, who was nominated for Kansas Master Teacher of the Year program. Harrell teaches social science at the Junior High School.
David Walker, winner of the Local Educator Award. Walker teaches biology and chemistry at Tonganoxie High School.
Andrea Carden, winner of the district's Outstanding First Year Teacher Award. She teaches sixth-graders at the elementary school.
These staff members who are retiring were honored:
Luanne Kietzman, a 23-year veteran of the district, who most recently has taught physical education at the elementary school.
Margaret Willson, who has served as upper elementary vocal music instructor for 11 years.
Sharon Stratton, who has taught vocal music at the elementary school. Three years ago, Stratton retired from the district, but then returned.
These staff members who are leaving the district were honored:
Barb Clinger, who is entering seminary next year to prepare for the ministry. She began her 13-year career in Tonganoxie schools as a sixth-grade teacher, and most recently was seventh-grade science teacher at the junior high.
John Lee, an eight-year member of the district who has been a teacher, coach and athletic director. Lee will teach and coach at Park Hill (Mo.) High School.
Brenda Meyer, Spanish and French teacher and cheerleader sponsor at the high school for the last five years. She is moving to Maryland, where she will marry and continue teaching.
Leslie Foster, math instructor and coach at the high school for the past four years. She will coach at Allen County Community College.
Diana Winter and Kathy Talbot, food service program employees for the past four years.
Peter LaGue, who served as a long-term substitute in art for the past year.
Laura Kidwell, special education instructor at the high school for the past five years. She is getting married and leaving the state.
Chris Herron, Tonganoxie volleyball coach and instructor, who is leaving for Washburn University, and Nona Myers, a bus driver and former maintenance department employee, is retiring. They were not at the breakfast.
Two teachers who have completed 25 years of service in education Karen LaRosh and Kenny Hardy were honored with certificates from the University of Kansas School of Education.
Three classified employees were honored:
Myrle Levitt, bus driver and former paraeducator, who has served the district for 28 years.
Earleta Morey, director of the Volunteer Center and Community Education coordinator.
Louise Athon, head of the high school's food service program, and Pam Phillips, who is head of the elementary school's food service program.