Kathy Toelkes, Director of Communications for the Kansas State Department of Education, 785-296-4876
Two area teachers named finalists for Kansas Teacher of the Year-Region 3
TOPEKA—Sept. 9, 2012—Judy M. Domke, an elementary inter-related resource teacher at Stanley Elementary School in Overland Park (Blue Valley USD 229), and Scott Keltner, a high school mathematics teacher at Eudora High School (Eudora USD 491), were named Region 3 finalists for the 2013 Kansas Teacher of the Year award today.
The announcements were made during ceremonies at the Marriott Hotel in Overland Park. As finalists for the Kansas Teacher of the Year distinction, Domke and Keltner each received a $2,000 cash award from Security Benefit, a major partner in the Kansas Teacher of the Year program. In addition, they are now eligible to be named Kansas Teacher of the Year, an award that will be announced during ceremonies in Wichita on Nov. 17.
Domke and Keltner were among six Teacher of the Year semi-finalists from Region 3, which covers the third U.S. congressional district. Other semi-finalists were Elizabeth “Beth” R. Koon, an elementary art teacher at Raymond B. Marsh Elementary School in Shawnee Mission (Shawnee Mission USD 512); Kathy McBride, a kindergarten teacher at Belmont Elementary School and Mize Elementary School in Shawnee (De Soto USD 232); Vincent LaVergne, a high school mathematics teacher at Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park (Shawnee Mission USD 512); and Nancy B. Perry, a high school Spanish teacher at De Soto High School (De Soto USD 232). Each of the semi-finalists received a red marble apple with a wooden base, compliments of The Master Teacher in Manhattan. Statewide, 91 educators were nominated for the Kansas Teacher of the Year distinction.
Nominations are made in each of four regions in the state. The Kansas State Department of Education, sponsor of the Kansas Teacher of the Year program, appoints regional selection panels comprised of teachers, education administrators, and higher education representatives to select semi-finalists and finalists from each region.
Each panel selects six semi-finalists - three elementary teachers and three secondary teachers. From those semi-finalists, the panel in each region then selects one elementary finalist and one secondary finalist. The Kansas Teacher of the Year is selected from among the regional finalists.
The individual selected as the Kansas Teacher of the Year is eligible for national distinction as Teacher of the Year. The National Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by the ING Foundation and Target, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, in partnership with the University of Phoenix Foundation and People to People Ambassador Programs. The Kansas Teacher of the Year team, comprised of the Teacher of the Year and state finalists, travels the state advocating for education and the teaching profession.
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