Kansas Master Teacher Award

Kay Parks Bushman Haas

Kay Parks Bushman Haas

2000 Kansas Master Teacher

Language Arts Teacher and Department Chair
Ottawa High School
USD 290, Ottawa

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Teaching Philosophy

"Education is the foundation upon which everything else in our society depends.  Consequently, teachers have one of the greatest responsibilities, for it is through education that we produce informed, productive, and compassionate citizens.  Every single day teachers must meet the individual needs of each of their students. . .An effective teacher is part of a decision-making team, updating and sequencing curriculum standards to create an effective educational program for all students."

Honors and Awards

  • 1993 Kansas Teacher of the Year Finalist
  • 1993 Nancy Landon Kassebaum Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • 1993-95 Ottawa Public Educational Trust Grant Recipient
  • 1989, 1990, and 1994 Who's Who Among American Educators
  • 1983 Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities

What People Say

"We students knew that we would be doing something in Mrs. Haas' class every day!  Her love for the classroom showed through her high-energy style of teaching.  Whatever we were learning--grammar, reading, or writing--she was excited about it.  This excitement became something we came to expect.  I cannot remember a day when she showed that she was not happy to be in the classroom.  Perhaps it was this enthusiasm that solidified my decision to become an English teacher." 

Sheri (Davis) Harshaw, former student

"Kay understands that education is more than the dissemination of information.  She realizes that for learning to have taken place, the student must have a working knowledge of the lesson that was taught.  Kay demands this of her students and remains vigil in the standards she sets for herself to make sure that comprehension has transpired.  I relay these insights to you not only as a school board member, but also as the parent of a child who has had Kay as a teacher." 

John C. Coen, USD 290 Board of Education Member

"Challenging students to think for themselves, daring them to reach beyond the 'merely acceptable' to push at the limits of their potential, and continually encouraging students to achieve high standards are the qualities which make Kay Haas an outstanding educator.  She is a teacher who expects--and gets--only the best efforts from her students while making learning fun."

Chuck Tilman, colleague at Ottawa High School