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National Teachers Hall of Fame Welcomes the Class of 2019

June 17, 2019

The Emporia area has even more opportunities to meet the newest inductees to the National Teachers Hall of Fame this week as new public events are added to the schedule. The inductees requested that the two activities —a trivia competition with local teams pitted against the teachers and hunting for shark teeth, a family-oriented activity — be added.

The five members of the Class of 2019 have amassed a total of 132 years of classroom teaching:

  • Christopher Albrecht, a 4th grade teacher from Brockport, New York, has 23 years in the classroom.
  • David Bosso, a 9th-12th grade Social Studies teacher from Berlin, Connecticut, has been in the middle school and high school classroom for 21 years.
  • Richard Knoeppel, an 11th-12th grade Career and Technical Education and Architecture teacher from Las Vegas, Nevada, has been teaching for 31 years.
  • Mary Jo Murray, a 9th-12th grade Mathematics teacher from Riviera Beach, Florida, has been teaching for 36 years.
  • Dyane Smokorowski, is the PreK-12 Technology and Innovation Lead Teacher for the Andover Public Schools in Andover, Kansas. She has completed 21 years of classroom teaching.

The inductees and their families arrive in Emporia today (Monday, June 17) for a whirlwind four days of events.

Another new addition is honoring Matthew Powell from Mayfield, Kentucky, the National Education Association Education Support Professional of the Year. Powell and Debby Chandler of Washington, the NEA ESP Council president, will arrive midweek to attend an ESP workshop on Thursday and the Induction Ceremony on Friday.

These events are open to the public and free, unless otherwise noted:

Tuesday, June 18, Shark Teeth Project, Emporia Public Library, 4:30 p.m.

The Emporia Public Library is the venue for the inductees to share their expertise on fossilized shark’s teeth — how to find and identify while sifting through dirt that is said to be 11 million years old. Each participant receives a bag of dirt to take home to sift through for shark teeth. Fun for land-locked Kansans of all ages!

Wednesday, June 19, Wine/ Cheese/ and Trivia Challenge at the Lyon County History Center, third floor, 8 p.m.

Come for a fun, informal gathering with prizes as community members match wits with the inductees on local and general trivia knowledge. This is a great way to meet the inductees in a relaxed atmosphere at the Lyon County History Center. 

Thursday, June 20

  • “Most Likely to Succeed” documentary, Visser Hall 330, 2 p.m. Writer and producer Ted Dintersmith will attend for a discussion after the showing. Dintersmith received the Friend of Education Award from the Hall of Fame this year, and is a true advocate for great schools in America.
  • ESP of the Year workshop and meet and greet, Visser Hall 330, 4:30-6 p.m. Meet Matthew Powell from Mayfield, Kentucky, the National Education Association Education Support Professional of the Year, and Debby Chandler of Washington, the NEA ESP Council president.
  • “Haught and Cold Ice Cream Social” at the Emporia Municipal Band Concert, Fremont Park, 7-9 p.m. Thanks to the sponsors, Steve and Nina Haught, the first 200 community members will receive a free commemorative mug with a root beer float made with Braum’s ice cream. This is always a fun night for the inductees, who march with the children and enjoy the wonderful evening in Fremont Park with the Community Band.

Friday, June 21

  • Rededication ceremonies for the National Memorial to Fallen Educators, 18th Avenue and Merchant Street, 2 p.m. Family members of at least 3 people being memorialized will be in attendance to pay tribute and lay a rose for their fallen educator.
  • Induction Ceremonies, Webb Hall, 7:30-9:30 p.m. The ceremony also will be livestreamed by Emporia State University at https://livestream.com/emporiastate/events/8646060.

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