USD 497 Lawrence
USD 233 "Olathe
USD 208 WaKeeney
USD 464 Tonganoxie
USD 305 Salina
USD 214 Ulysses
USD 253 Emporia
Kansas Master Teacher Award
1998 Kansas Master Teacher
English and Journalism Teacher
Olathe North High School
USD 233, Olathe
Birch returned to Olathe North High School to teach English and journalism in 1992 following an ll-year stint there from 1973-84. She attempts to share her love of learning with students.
Olathe North learning disabilities teacher Linda Minor said, "The enthusiasm she exhibits each day in the classroom is contagious. It is impossible to not be excited about learning."
After receiving a grant to observe at three different media outlets in the Kansas City area, Birch promptly shared the experiences with her students. After assuming the duties of newspaper advisor, Birch changed the organization of the newspaper staff, requiring every staff member to participate in all aspects of the production. Since then, her staffs have earned numerous awards and honors.
According to Anna Stroth, editor of the Olathe North newspaper, Birch "remains at school well into the evening to edit stories, offer guidance on the computers, and assist over 30 Eagle staff members...Rarely a day goes by that Mrs. Birch is not seen in our school, even during the summer."
Birch twice was named Member of the Year by the Brandon, Fla. Junior Women's Club and received the 1997 Eagle Award for service and professionalism.
A native of Agana, Guam, Birch earned a Bachelor of Arts in English degree from Baker University, a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kansas, and has completed post-graduate work at seven institutions.