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Kansas Master Teacher Award

2017 Class of Kansas Master Teachers Announced

February 28, 2017

Representing more than 140 years of classroom experience, members of the 2017 class of Kansas Master Teachers were announced today. The seven teachers chosen for this annual award are:

  • John Butcher, art teacher at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park;
  • Melinda Eitel, Kindergarten teacher at Grace E. Stewart Elementary School in Salina;
  • Joan Hayden, physical education teacher at Fort Riley Middle School;
  • Jennifer Hendrix, physics teacher at Dodge City High School;
  • Kimberly Hett, fifth grade teacher for Andover eCademy;
  • Brandy Lane, sixth grade teacher at Pauline South Intermediate School in Topeka; and
  • Laura Schwinn, audio/video communications teacher at Emporia High School.

Learn more...


About the Program

Emporia State University established the Kansas Master Teacher awards in 1954. The awards are presented annually to teachers who have served the profession long and well and who also typify the good qualities of earnest and conscientious teachers.


To be eligible for nomination, each candidate must have taught or served in an instructional leadership role for at least five years in any Kansas P-12 or higher education schools.

Qualified candidates demonstrate these qualities by submitting an application documenting his or her educational philosophy, professional practice, outstanding community engagement, continuous professional growth, and participation in professional organizations.

Nomination Process

Award candidates are typically nominated by a school district committee or an assigned school representative. Individuals may also self-nominate or be nominated by a professional organization, a parent, or other individual or group that would like to recognize a teacher. More than one individual may be nominated from a school or USD; however, only one person from a USD will be selected as a Master Teacher.

At the beginning of each calendar year, selection of seven award recipients is made by a selection committee. The committee is comprised of the president or designated representative from prominent educational organizations such as: Kansas-National Education Association, Kappa Delta Pi-International Honor Society in Education, Kansas State Board of Education, Kansas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Kansas Association of School Boards, Kansas Congress of Parents and Teachers, and United School Administrators. Two Master Teachers from the previous year also serve on the committee.

Kansas Master Teacher Recognition Day

Each year, selected teachers are recognized during a special Kansas Master Teacher Recognition Day at Emporia State University. During the day, the teachers participate in several activities including a seminar, social, and award dinner where each teacher is honored. Through the support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation each of the selected teachers will receive a $1,000 stipend to be used for professional learning.

The Kansas Master Teacher Program expresses appreciation for the generosity of Bank of America (formerly Nations Bank and Bank IV - Emporia). Since 1980, this bank has pledged over $115,000 to permanently endow the Master Teacher Program.

Nomination Forms

Information about the nomination process, as well as the required forms, can be found here.

Questions?  Contact Lucie Eusey
Office: 620-341-5830
Dean's Office: 620-341-5367

Previous Kansas Master Teacher Winners

Winners of the award from present day to 1954 can be found by the year they received the award from here.