Distinguished Classroom Teacher Awards

Photo 2019 Distinguished Classroom Teachers
  • The Distinguished Classroom Teacher Award program recognizes outstanding teachers who affect the quality of education in the Wichita Public Schools. It is the highest award bestowed by the district on its teaching staff.


    Each year, awards are given in eight different categories - new teacher (elementary), new teacher (secondary), primary (Pre-K through 2), intermediate (3 through 5), middle school, high school, support (elementary) and support (secondary) teachers.


    Anyone can nominate a teacher for this prestigious award. The nomination form must be completed in collaboration with the teacher-nominee and submitted by the announced deadlines. 

    A selection committee made up of teachers, school and district-level administrators, the assistant superintendents of elementary and secondary schools and a member of the United Teachers of Wichita reviews the nominations and makes the final selections.


    The award recipients are recognized by the Board of Education and each receives a crystal award and a $20 purchasing card to be used at Parent Teacher Resources. Their schools also receive a commemorative banner featuring their award-winning teacher.


    The 2019 Distinguished Classroom Teacher Award recipients in their respective categories are:

    • Chasmyn Lindeman-Thimesch, fourth-grade teacher, Cloud Elementary School - New Teacher, Elementary
    • Taylor Offerle, mathematics teacher, Heights High School - New Teacher, Secondary
    • Marnie Baxter, second-grade teacher, McCollom Elementary School - Primary Teacher
    • Allison Drake, third-grade teacher, Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet - Intermediate Teacher
    • Patric Jackson, physical education teacher, Gordon Parks Academy - Middle School Teacher
    • Ann Burgett, English teacher, Northwest High School - High School Teacher
    • Ashley Reichenborn, music teacher, Buckner Performing Arts and Science Magnet Elementary - Support Teacher, Elementary
    • Nicole Herrera, instructional support, Mayberry Cultural/Fine Arts Magnet Middle School - Support Teacher, Secondary


    The teachers were surprised with the news of their selection by Board members, district administrators and members of the selection committee.

    Link to video of the surprise visits 

    Link to news story about the surprise visits

    The teachers were recognized at the March 25, 2019 Board of Education meeting during which time, video profiles of the teachers were shown. It was also announced that Chasmyn Lindeman-Thimesch and Taylor Offerle are the district's nominees for the Kansas Horizon Award which honors new teachers and Marnie Baxter and Ann Burgett will represent the Wichita Public Schools for the Kansas Teacher of the Year Award program. Lindeman-Thimesch was named a 2020 Horizon Award honoree.

    Links to videos highlighting the teachers in their classrooms:


    Link to see a list of prior award honorees