2003 Winner

(visit 2003 winners home page)


Connie FerreeConnie Ferree

High School Science and Chemistry Teacher
Emporia High School
USD 253, Emporia

Teaching Philosophy

"In the classroom, I strive for high standards for all students.  I stress hard work for entire class sessions, daily practice on presented skills, and accountability for progress on a regular basis.  A child's education - of which I am an integral part - is the foundation for his or her growth as a person and ability to change, allowing for adaptation in a constantly changing society,"  she writes in her educational philosophy.  "The responsibilities of teaching are always awesome; sometimes overwhelming; and often emotionally, mentally and physically taxing.  However, the uplifting joy of success that come with each individual 'Thank you - you made a difference in my life' is priceless."

Honors and Awards

Kansas University's Teacher Recognition Award, 1989 and 1991
Emporia Public School Foundation Grant Awardee, 1998
Region III Representative - Kansas Association of Teachers of Science, 1997-99
Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Grant Awardee - 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002
Emporia High School Teacher of the Year, 1999
Who's Who Among American Teachers, 2002
Region 16 Representative - Kansas National Teachers Association,  2002-present
Treasurer - Emporia National Education Association - 2000-present

What People Say

"Students know that when they take a chemistry class from Mrs. Connie Ferree, it will not be easy, writes her principal James L. Menze.  "Students who achieve in Mrs. Ferree's classes can count on being successful in future science classes and other classes in general.  Former students . . . tell us that they are much more prepared in chemistry in college than their counterparts from other high schools."


Leigh Fine, a former student and a sophomore at Kansas State University writes, "Chemistry has a reputation for being a very daunting subject.  Many students deliberately avoid taking the course or completely restructure their schedules so they can avoid taking it altogether.  Mrs. Ferree, however, did an incredible job in the classroom of making the subject accessible to her students.  Teaching college-level Chemistry I and II courses to high school students is not an easy job, but Mrs. Ferree met the challenge with impeccable skill and a willing attitude.  She used a variety of teaching methods, including videos, PowerPoint, lecturing, and board work to ensure that she could reach students with varied styles of learning.