2006 Winner

(visit 2006 winners home page)


Marilyn K. VaughanMarilyn K. Vaughan

First Grade Teacher
Cottonwood Point Elementary
USD 229, Blue Valley

Teaching Philosophy

"I believe that learning is a lifelong transformative process.  It is a journey across a bridge, which I visualize as a learning community that exists to allow the student to travel from what they know now to what they need to know in the future.  My role as an educator is to build a bridge that will allow this journey to take place.  The learning community created in the educator’s classroom, like a bridge, needs a bedrock foundation for support.  I believe the bedrock foundation for quality education is the teacher.  The learning community my students and I call ‘Vaughansville’ reflect this educational philosophy."

Honors and Awards

Building Nominee for Teacher of the Year - 2006
Co-Instructor for Blue Valley Kansas Performance Assessment Support Program - 2005
Mentoring Chairman (elected) for State Organization of KS - NBCT (2003)
Master Teacher Certification - State of Kansas - 2003

What People Say

A colleague, Julie Vodehnal, writes, “I can honestly say that Marilyn Vaughan has enriched my life as an educator.  She is someone I strive to be like.  She is a life long learner who is always looking for better ways to teach.  She has touched the lives of many students and parents throughout her teaching career.  I know that those children’s lives are better as a result of Marilyn’s caring and devotion towards them.”

A former student, Laura Cline, shares, “Over the past 12 years, between new schools, moves and growing up, Mrs. Vaughan has not only kept in touch with me, but with many of my classmates as well.  Two to three times a year, Jon and Jenny, my first grade classmates, and I try to go back and visit our Vaughansville classroom.  The three of us find that each time we visit Mrs. Vaughan we leave feeling inspired, motivated, listened to and loved.  Through a move to New York, my parent’s divorce, transferring high schools and my father’s heart attack, she has been a guiding light and a person of comfort and wisdom.”

Marsha Wilson, Lauguage Arts Coordinator at Cottonwood Point Elementary, relates, “One of Marilyn’s greatest strengths is her ability to communicate.  The skill not only keeps her parents informed, in some cases daily, of students progress but it helps keep her fellow colleagues informed of information she has found in her constant search for knowledge.  Many of us benefit from Marilyn being a life long learner since she is on numerous listservs and is very generous in sharing information she learns from other teachers around the country.”