2006 Winner

(visit 2006 winners home page)


DambroJo Ellen Dambro

Fifth Grade Teacher
Lowther South Intermediate School
USD 253, Emporia

Teaching Philosophy

"There are many comparisons or analogies that may be used to explain the role or philosophy of education in our society. I have often used a three-legged stool to depict my philosophy or educational beliefs to children even as fifth graders. I have them picture a three-legged stool with one leg being the home or family unit, one leg being the community, and one leg being the school. If any of the three legs of the stool is deficient, the stool will topple. In today's diverse, ever-changing reality, each of these legs might look different on the stool of each child, but each leg must be fully functional in order for the stool to be at its sturdiest, and for the learner to achieve the most from his educational opportunities."

Honors and Awards

Emporia Master Teacher 2006
Regional, State, and National Delegate to the National Education Association Assemblies
ENEA Membership Chairman
St. Mark's Church Council
USD #253 Fifteen Year Recognition

What People Say

Ed Gerhardt, former Principal writes, “Jo Ellen is the epitome of the teaching professional, having begun her career as a substitute teacher and then continuing it until the present as an elementary teacher in the Emporia Schools.  She began her teaching career at Village Elementary School, Emporia, during my time as the principal, and taught there until her grade level was transferred to Lowther Intermediate School.  From the start, she demonstrated the dedication, work ethic, creativity, positive approach, and knowledge of the profession that made her an outstanding teacher.”

Katie Adams, a former student recalled how, "Mrs. Dambro loved each student in a unique way. She made them aware of their talents and strengths, making each child feel special. Reading didn't come easy for me as a kid, but Mrs. Dambro created a learning environment where students weren’t afraid to take risks.  She never let go of her high expectations for her students to succeed, and created confidence in her students by getting them to reach new levels of learning.  Mrs. Dambro taught to each student, building on their individualities, and didn’t teach to a class.”

“Jo Ellen was always an avid supporter and follower of her own children and their activities”, says Vicky Lyon, a fellow church member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.  “She and I worked together numerous times in each of our daughter’s cheerleading and dance team activities at Emporia High School.  Jo Ellen was always present to lend a helping hand for any tasks requiring parental involvement.  Jo Ellen’s involvement did not stop with her own children…she always expressed an interest in the well-being of the other young people.  Her contribution to all was totally from the heart and never-ending; her efforts tireless.”