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District Teacher of the Year
District Teacher of the Year


Description of Award

Annually, district parents, patrons, and staff are asked to nominate an El Dorado Public Schools classroom teacher to be recognized as the USD 490 Teacher of the Year.

At that time, nominees will be asked to confirm their place on the ballot by submitting a brief professional resume’ within the following week. Resumes will be distributed electronically to all district certified staff that will, by a method determined in each building, indicate which nominee is to receive endorsement at the District Recognition Selection Committee meeting. If the building representative is a nominee the Superintendent will appoint an alternate staff representative. 

The District Recognition Selection Committee will select the USD 490 Teacher of the Year. The award will be announced as part of American Education Week. 

The District Teacher of the Year will then select a committee of three (3) colleagues to provide support in the nomination processes for the Kansas Master Teacher and Kansas Teacher of the Year awards. The support committee and the Director of Information Services will assist the District Teacher of the Year in the development and submission of formal nomination materials. They will be provided with a half-day release time to work collaboratively; as well as complimentary tickets and transportation to any recognition banquets supporting the District Teacher of the Year as a nominee for these two statewide recognitions.


1.   The nominee must have at least five (5) years teaching experience.

2.   The nominee must be a full-time regular or special education certified staff member employed in the El Dorado
      Public Schools who plans to continue in active teaching.

3.   The nominee must be a classroom teacher. A classroom teacher is defined as a teacher who has a group(s)
      of students for whom he/she is responsible. The teacher’s current responsibilities should include
      —assessment of students including the assignment of grades; preparation of lesson plans; parent-teacher
      conferences; discipline; and day-to-day functioning of classes including duties such as attendance, lunch
      count, lunch and recess duty, etc.

4.   The teacher should be exceptionally skilled, dedicated and inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to

5.   The candidate should have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues and should play
      an active and constructive role in the community as well as in the school.

6.   The award carries with it a number of public appearances; therefore, the nominee should be poised, articulate
      and possess the energy to withstand a busy schedule advocating for public education.

7.   The nominee should be committed to fostering school improvement initiatives in Kansas.

8.   The nominee must demonstrate a sincere interest and involvement in professional organizations.

9.   The nominee must agree to complete submissions to the Kansas Master Teacher and Kansas Teacher of the
      Year competitions as a representative of USD 490 teaching staff.

10. Teachers who have previously received recognition are not eligible for nomination (see names below).


USD 490 Master Teachers: Sharon Bell (1996), Pat Cost (1997), Susan Appleman (1998), Karen Kinder (1999), Glenda Fleener (2000), Jeanne Evans (2001), Jan Prather (2002), Trey Harrison (2003); Rod Luehrs (2004); Tammy Fellers (2005), Tonya Cogan (2006), Russell Baker (2007), Judy Slayton (2008); Gina Meyer (2009), Dave Herrs (2010); Steve Appleman (2011); Rod Luehrs (2012)

Kansas Master Teachers: Holly Bright (2020); Connie Allmond (2018); Kori Green (2015); Carla Varner (2014); Jan Prather (2002), Jeanne Evans (2001), Jim Gardner (1990), Helen Wagner (1991), Joy Wigginton (1968), Helen Case (1971), Marie Hieger (1973).

Previous Teachers of the Year: 2020-Holly Bright; 2019-Denise Johnson; 2018-Connie Allmond; 2017-Kent Kunkel; 2016-Kevin Monroe; 2015-Kori Green; 2014-Carla Varner; 2013-Martin Munoz; 2013-Todd Miller; 2012-Shelly Hill/Dustin Dooley; 2011-Keri Hadley/LuAnne Vides; 2010-Michelle Neuschafer/Kirstie Towner; 2009-Mary Good/Tammy Fellers; 2008-Misty Pope/Dorothy Beer; 2007-Janet Baker/Pat Fellers; 2006-Jim Shum/Ashlie Barth; 2005-Tonya Cogan/Heather Fangmann; 2004-Rod Luehrs; 2003-Trey Harrison; 2002-Jan Prather/Jane Simms; 2001-Jeanne Evans/Earl Legleiter; 2000-Jill Buettgenbach; 1999-Sharon Stoskopf/Glenda Fleener; 1998-Susan Appleman/Linda Evenson; 1997-Karen Kinder/René Alonzo; 1996-Art Torrez/Pat Cost; 1995-Sharon Bell/Audrey Kallenberger; 1994-Carol Fox/Susan Zieman.


2020-21 Timeline

Deadline for Nominations – October 19

Deadline for Resume’ Submission – October 27

Electronic Distribution of Nominees’ Resume & Anonymous Statements of Support – October 28

Building Endorsements – October 29- November 4

Selection Committee Meeting – November 5

Announcement of USD 490 Teacher of the Year – November 10

2019-20 District Recognition Selection Committee:  Larri Bateson (Classified), Susan Holthaus (Elem Adm), Bruce Lolling (Sec Adm), Judy Slayton (BE), Jelinda Keeling (ENEA), Kelly Payé (EMS), Debra Smith (GE), Rusty Williams (SE), Kelly Ankrom (EHS), Teresa Tosh (ex-officio)

Click here for a nomination form.

Nominators may be parents/patrons or members of the USD 490 staff. Self-nominations are not accepted.

The nominating statement will be duplicated and submitted for staff and selection committee consideration in an anonymous format (nominator name removed.)