Students work to build support for National Teachers Hall of Fame

February 21, 2012

National Teachers Hall of FameThe last semester of one’s senior year in college is usually spent focusing on self and future employment, but that’s not the main focus of three dynamic students at Emporia State University. Their focus is outward toward a lofty goal of helping The National Teachers Hall of Fame.

For Beka Enoch of Manhattan, Holli Schletzbaum of Wichita and Kelsey Cowan of Olathe, Emporia and Emporia State have become a meaningful part of their young lives. They want to give back and leave a legacy before they graduate in May.

Their goal: to promote awareness of the Hall of Fame and to raise one million dollars in one semester.  Their plan: encourage everyone in America to honor a teacher through the “One in a Million” campaign.

“It’s such a simple idea, really,” explains Schletzbaum. “We can all remember teachers who have made a difference in our lives, and this is an affordable, tangible way to say thank you. So often, teachers don’t receive the recognition they deserve, but they are always blamed when something goes wrong!”

The National Teachers Hall of Fame, founded in 1989, is located on the campus of Emporia State University. Each year, a national selection committee screens the nomination packets and selects the five outstanding veteran teachers to be inducted during ceremonies in June. There are 100 members of the Hall, and the new class will be inducted on June 15 of this year.

The Hall of Fame also sponsors a museum, is host for future teacher academies for high school students and sponsors early career teacher workshops throughout the country each year. Inductees reach out to recruit and encourage future and current members of the profession. The money raised will be used to enrich the activities of the Hall of Fame.

“Anyone can help in this effort,” explains Cowan. “We will place the name of the honored teacher and the comments made on the NTHF website [www.nthf.org] and in the museum. We are asking for only a $1 minimum donation and words that will thank the favorite teacher. The form is on the website, and it will take a few minutes and a stamp to make teachers know that they have made a difference in students’ lives.”

“We are using all forms of media to reach America,” adds Enoch. “We wanted to see if we can stir the same enthusiasm and passion that we have for this project throughout the country. We’re on Facebook and Twitter, and we are seeking coverage in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. We want everyone to know about the campaign.”

It’s an ambitious goal, but one that the young women are pursuing with positive excitement.

Schletzbaum expresses it well: “We want to make a difference and ensure the National Teachers Hall of Fame continued success in honoring teachers. Where would any of us be today if it weren’t for caring teachers who have made a difference in our lives? I can’t think of a better way to honor teachers than to join the ‘One in a Million’ campaign.”

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