Photo from left: Kelsey Potter, Heather Manganiello, Mike Williams, Kelli Phimsiprasom, Jonathan Belsan, Crystal Firestone, Courtney Maddux and Alexandra Stamps.
Distinguished Classroom Teacher Awards
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. The deadline for 2022 nominations was noon on January 14.
A selection committee made up of teachers, school and district-level administrators, the executive directors 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 $20 in PTR Bucks to be used at Parent Teacher Resources. Their schools also receive a commemorative banner featuring their award-winning teacher.
The 2021 Distinguished Classroom Teacher Award honorees were surprised with news of their awards on March 17 by Board of Education members, district leaders and their family members.
Distinguished Classroom Teachers 2020
2020 Distinguished Classroom Teachers (back row) Denise Van Horn, Leigh Kasper, Sam Belsan, Darham Rogers and Afton Miller; (front row) Tiffany Peterson, Lisa Reeb and Catherine Busick.
Distinguished Classroom Teachers 2019
2019 Distinguished Classroom Teachers (left to right) Keely PJ Tolbert, Ashley Cavazos, Kimberly Knox, Cathy Boote, Kate Skinner, Susan Moore and Sarah Gegen.