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Students to Learn What It Takes to be a Teacher

Kansas Future Teacher Academy logo

Kansas high school students will get to experience what it means to be a teacher at the Kansas Future Teacher Academy June 5 through 9. About 60 students from across the state will be meeting at the academy, held at Emporia State University.

“The goal of the academy is to expose high school students in Kansas to the rewards of the teaching profession, and what the future of education will look like through our theme for 2022: Reimagine Education,” said Todd Roberts, KFTA director.

Attendees are accepted into the academy based upon their academic standing, involvement in school and community activities and interest in exploring a career in teaching.

“They stay in Emporia State’s residence halls, eat on campus, explore Emporia, all with the main goal of exploring what it means to prepare for a career in education,” Roberts said. “We are excited to have the highest numbers of students attending KFTA in recent memory, showing us young people are feeling the call to pursue careers in education.”

Among the people in education the KFTA students will hear from are:

  • 2020 Regional Kansas Teacher of the Year Shawn Hornung, Wamego High School in USD 320;
  • 2020 Regional Kansas Teacher of the Year Amy Hillman, Olathe Public Schools in USD 233;
  • 2022 Kansas Teacher of the Year Susanne L. Stevenson, Beeson Elementary School, Dodge City USD 443;
  • Kansas Department of Education Commissioner, Dr. Randy Watson;
  • Kansas administrators and teachers;
  • and current/recent college students majoring in education.

Participants will be involved in numerous activities during the week, including those centered on project-based learning, social emotional learning, active engagement strategies, brain-based learning, problem-solving and personal goal setting.

One of the events scheduled is a scavenger hunt in downtown Emporia, taking pictures with interactive murals visiting Sweet Granada, Dynamic Discs, Emporia Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses before visiting the Lyon County Historical Society.

“Learning to be a teacher isn’t something that is confined to a classroom,” Roberts said. “It’s about using available environments and resources, reaching out to organizations and businesses outside of school to support key concepts.”

Students will explore the one-room schoolhouse on campus, comparing it with their experiences of school, then asked to shift their views on what the future of education looks like.

This will be the 32nd year of the Kansas Future Teacher Academy and the first time it will be in-person since 2019. More than 1,500 Kansas high school students have attended the academy since it began in 1989. Information about the academy is available at

For more information about the academy, contact Roberts at 785-418-9309. The KFTA is coordinated by The Teachers College at ESU.

2022 Kansas Future Teacher Academy Participants - High School – Student Name(s):

  • Augusta High School – Michelle Eastridge, Emily Thomason
  • Bishop Carroll High School (Wichita) – Kaitlin Robben
  • Blue Valley High School – Ian McIntyre
  • Bonner Springs High School – Simone Freese, Mattie Newson
  • Burlington High School – Amber Scott
  • Council Grove High School – Abigail Bachura
  • Douglass High School – Bridget Martin
  • Emporia High School – Laura Baldwin, Chloe Eubanks
  • Eudora High School – Haley Owens
  • Eisenhower High School – Alyssa Zimmer
  • Field Kindley High School – Morgan Way
  • Herington High School – Avery Monnington
  • Jefferson County North High School – Jack Funk
  • Lansing High School – Sarah Hedberg
  • Lawrence Free State High School – Kylie Voss
  • Lebo High School – Sam Hasenclever
  • Smoky Valley High School – Elijiah Spooner
  • Maize South High School – Carley Bell
  • Manhattan High School – Madeline Byerly, Suzanne Chaffee, Elijah Cunningham, Bailey Nall
  • Marysville High School – Thomas Behrens
  • Moscow High School – Jaylen Sunderland
  • Neodesha High School – Ellen Meseraul
  • Olathe East High School – D’maraee Barahona, Katelynn Barbee, Claire Heigele, Isabella Hermansen, Cherilyn Hernandez-Vara, Sofia Vannoy
  • Olathe North High School – Daniela Estefes, Joshlyn Rodriguez-Arango
  • Paola High School – Kiara Howard, Max Markovich
  • Piper High School – Riley Eidson
  • Prairie View High School – Kadin Waterman
  • Rossville High School - Brooke Robb, Hayden Sanders
  • St. Mary’s Colgan High School (Pittsburg) – Anna Westhoff
  • Satanta High School – Abbi Boese
  • Shawnee Mission Northwest High School – Lily Jones
  • Southwestern Heights High School (Kismet) – Zoey Grant
  • Spring Hill High School – Kaitlyn Durham
  • Stafford High School – Anna Alpers, Ashton Harter
  • Sumner Academy (Kansas City) – Elizabeth Herrera, Kira Robbins
  • Tonganoxie High School – Bethany Overmiller
  • Topeka West High School – Misael Hernandez, Amiah McMurray-Hall, Ainsley Schimmel
  • Topeka High School – Athena Stiles
  • Washington County High School – Elizabeth Wright
  • Wichita Southeast High School – Debbie Alvarado
  • Wichita West High School – Shelby Cole, Kara Warren