Teachers across Kansas are being recognized for the efforts they have made during the COVID-19 pandemic by Gov. Laura Kelly.
May 3-8, 2021, will be recognized as Teacher Appreciation Week in a proclamation signed by the governor.
“All teachers and other school personnel are hereby recognized by the Kansas Master Teacher program for their steadfast dedication and devotion to ensure the continuous learning of Kansas youth throughout the pandemic,” states the proclamation.
The Kansas Master Teacher program is part of The Teachers College at Emporia State University.
“Now, more than ever, it is important to recognize the extra responsibility teachers and other school personnel have assumed throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. Joan Brewer, dean of The Teachers College. “Educators have worked tirelessly this past year to serve young people, our state’s future, in the best way possible. This is our way of letting them know those efforts have not gone unnoticed and that they are greatly appreciated.”
Every year since 1954, the Kansas Master Teacher program has annually honored a handful of teachers for their professional work. School districts nominate personnel to receive the honor and, ultimately, a selection committee determines the Kansas Master Teachers for the award year.
“Given the unique circumstances of this past year — having to suspend both the recognition of the 2020 Kansas Master Teachers and cease the nomination process for 2021 — the Kansas Master Teacher Committee decided not to let the commitment and dedication of Kansas teachers go unnoticed. Instead, the group determined the most appropriate thing to do would be to celebrate the exceptional work of all Kansas teachers,” Brewer said. “What better way to celebrate our state’s teacher than to work with the governor’s office to honor this group with a proclamation.”
Since 1980, Bank of America has pledged more than $100,000 to permanently endow the Kansas Master Teacher awards.
All totaled, in its 67-year history, 494 Kansas educators have been named Kansas Master Teachers. The names of all of the previous winners can be found at www.emporia.edu/masterteacher.