Kansas Master Teacher Award

Rosemary Riordan

Rosemary Riordan

2001 Kansas Master Teacher

Art Teacher
Sunflower Elementary School
USD 512, Lenexa

visit all 2001 winners

Teaching Philosophy

"My personal philosophy is that all children can learn and that our job as educators is to make that process a joyful journey.  I believe that teaching art is fundamental, with the key word being FUN.  My job is to instill within my students and my community a love of learning and a desire to cross boundaries and create connections with other places, other times, other styles, creating a diversity of vision . . . I believe as teachers, we provide children with the opportunity to succeed, and it is our job to make them feel positive about their educational experience and the work they are doing.  We provide an atmosphere that creates a positive learning environment.  Our perceptions shape our students experiences . . . Our job is to make them feel they can succeed and to accept failure as a growth experience.  Failures can be the stepping stones to great new ways of looking at life.  I want my students to feel safe enough to take risks and fail and still feel positive about their learning experience."

Honors and Awards

  • 2000 - Overall Outstanding Art Educator
  • 2000 - Nominee for National Art Educator
  • 1995 - Elementary Outstanding Art Educator
  • 1995 - AIA Education Award
  • 1995 - Preservation Education Award
  • 1995 - PTA Lifetime Membership from Belinder Elementary and Sunflower Elementary

What People Say

"Rosie Riordan is a teacher's teacher.  Rosie's passion for art and for learning is contagious.  She is fun to work with, an inspiration to others, and her tireless effort to make things better for students, their learning memorable, and fun.  Rosie Riordan is an outstanding teacher.  Rosie would be an outstanding teacher in any curricular area."  Georgia A. Smith, colleague at Sunflower Elementary School

"Mrs Riordan has the most enthusiastic personality I have seen, and it really has been an impact on me even now as I near my senior year in high school.  I remember how she used positive encouragement, and never put a limit on creativity.  I learned so much from her, and I continue to discover new things.  She is a wonderful teacher and has touched the lives of many students and inspired future artists."  Kari Kennedy, former student

"Mrs. Riordan is a person who has a good heart and is not selfish.  She also helps you when or wherever she can.  She has done so much for me.  She probably doesn't think the things she does are big things to her students.  It's not the big things, however, that helped me along.  A lot of little things when added up go far to make people the best that they can be.  Mrs. Riordan has given me a lot of those little things."  David Snodgrass, former student