1999 Kansas
Master Teachers

Michelle DiLisio**

Physical Education Teacher
USD 413 Chanute

Mary Hemphill

Elementary Art Teacher
USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden

Judy Humburg**

Fifth Grade Teacher
USD 385 Andover

Mary Porterfield

Spanish/Business Teacher
USD 352 Goodland

Linda Stelzer

Sixth Grade Reading Teacher
USD 382 Pratt

Phillip Theis

Microbology Teacher
Butler County Community College

Curt Vajnar

Agricultural Science/Driver's Education Teacher
USD 489 Hays

Andy Tompkins

Kansas Department of Education

Kansas Master Teacher Award

Phillip Theis

Phillip Theis

1999 Kansas Master Teacher

Lead Instructor - Microbiology
Butler County Community College
El Dorado, KS

visit all 1999 winners

Teaching Philosophy

"Throughout my professional career, I have never entered a classroom without being aware of the importance of time.  Not only is the proper use of it critical to good presentation of material, but also demonstrates respect of the student's time as well . . . In addition to using time wisely, there are three additional qualities necessary to make an excellent teacher.  First, an instructor must have a strong command of the subject matter he or she is presenting . . . Second, a great educator must have an engaging method of delivering the material to the student . . . Finally, and perhaps the most difficult to explain and understand is the art of being a teacher.  This is the desire to instruct that one is born with and it cannot be easily taught or learned.  In a nutshell, it is the caring, loving, and joy that are created from the process of helping others to learn.  For this attribute, I thank God."

Career Highlights

Theis developed laboratory teaching tapes that are used by microbiology instructors at Butler County Community College.

He also promoted and encouraged students to apply to "The Kansas Experience," a cancer institute given at Kansas State University.  Two Butler County Community College students were among the 15 winners from colleges and universities statewide.Theis developed methods for use of new television-microscope transmission in laboratory class settings.  Through use of this technology, students can view what they are to "see" before looking through their own microscopes.

What People Say

"Mr. Theis is an intelligent, caring, and gifted teacher.  He is passionate about his profession and takes pride in upholding high standards for his students.  His ability to teach is truly a gift.  Not only is it a gift to him, but also a gift to Butler County Community College, where he teaches.  The most important individuals to benefit from this gift are his students.   Without the strong foundation in biology and microbiology, my course of study would have been much more difficult.  I feel very fortunate to have had Mr. Theis as one of my teachers." 

Walter R. Singer, registered pharmacist

"Working for Mr. Theis during my studies at Butler County Community College allowed me to see how interested he is in his students.  Mr. Theis is very sensitive to the students' needs and he works very hard to make sure everyone understands his lecture material.  He teaches with a wit and sense of humor which makes his lectures fun and interesting.  I know Mr. Theis has had a positive impact on my life as well as the thousands of other students he has taught.  He deserves recognition for his years of devoted service in helping people achieve great things through their education." 

Greg R. Waldorf, O.D., Family Eyecare Associates, Olympia Fields and Blue Island, Ill.

"Mr. Theis is known as a demanding instructor.  His advanced courses are tough, but his students like him because they learn from him.  He earns the respect of all his students by his fairness and quality instruction.  Phil is strongly concerned what his students understand and are prepared for any situation in which the application of the course material may arise, whether in sequential courses or in life . . . Phil Theis is a quality instructor, a credit to the profession and is well deserving of the title Master Teacher."  

Gayle A. Krause,
retired chair of the BCCC mathematics and science division and current BCCC board of trustees