2001 Kansas
Master Teachers

Cathy Esquibel**

First Grade Teacher
USD 443 Dodge City

Jeanne Evans

Third Grade Teacher
USD 490 El Dorado

Betty Lavery**

Physical Education Teacher
USD 229 Stilwell

Leona Madden

Library Media Specialist
USD 489 Hays

Margaret McClatchey

Theatre Arts Teacher
USD 512 Shawnee Mission

Rosemary A. Riordan

Art Teacher
USD 512 Shawnee Mission

Jane Sak

Technology Integration Specialist
USD 229 Blue Valley



Jerry Long*

Associate Dean
Emporia State University

Kansas Master Teacher Award

Cathy Esquibel

Cathy Esquibel

2001 Kansas Master Teacher

First Grade Teacher
Northwest Elementary School
USD 443, Dodge City

visit all 2001 winners

Teaching Philosophy

"As an educator I am responsible for guiding each child and enabling him to observe and experiment the world around him.  By providing a classroom environment rich with language, literature, problem-solving activities and technology, I can foster an appreciation of the real world and what it has to offer.  Children need to investigate and make judgments based on their own first hand experiences.  The Chinese proverb, 'I hear, and I forget; I see, and I remember; I do, and I understand' is ever present in my mind as I plan activities for my classroom.  The true joy of teaching is watching a child's face light up when they discover or figure out something on their own.  I love their innocent eyes, their funny stories, and their daily attempts at greatness.  I love their diligence, their excitement, and their quest for knowledge.  Teaching a child how to rely upon himself and watch him grow into a confident thinker has no equal."

Honors and Awards

  • Who's Who--America's Teachers
  • Kansas Religious Educator of the Year Award
  • USD 443 ZAPP (Zealous Appreciation of Positive Performance)
  • Kansas Family of the Year
  • Nominee for Kansas Teacher of the Year

What People Say

"Cathy is one of those teachers whom every parent hopes their own child gets as a teacher.  I feel extremely lucky that my daughter, Cheyenne, is in her first grade class this year.  Her classroom is a most colorful, stimulating learning environment, chock full of books and hundreds of activities.  The sign to the door reads, 'I'm glad you're here!'  Cheyenne has not missed a day of school this year and says it's because she loves Mrs. Esquibel.  Cheyenne has excelled in reading, writing, and says she absolutely loves math.  I credit this to Cathy's varied teaching styles and her true caring attitude for every student.  Every child feels important and special to Cathy."  Debbie Conrardy, colleague and parent

"As I reflect on the critical person responsible for the shaping of my character, the realization of my dreams, and my overwhelming desire to become a teacher, I think of no one other than Mrs. Esquibel.  Mrs Cathy Esquibel was my first-grade teacher and what a delight it was to belong in Mrs. E's class.  She was excited to teach us, and willing to let us learn through various modes, deliveries, and paces without hindering her abilities to accomplish a vision that, 'All will learn!'  I can still remember the discovery of reading; like the success of winning a race with cheering spectators, but especially important to me was the approval of my coach, Mrs. Esquibel . . . Now, eighteen years later, I am enveloped in a world of compassionate, flexible learning occurring in my own classroom!  Yes, I am a first-grade teacher, and I am blessed to have Mrs. Cathy Esquibel as my mentor, colleague, and friend."  Becky Phelps, colleague and former student

"For at least four years the hearing-impaired children in her school were sent to Cathy's class because of her care and special understanding, as well as for her clear speaking voice.  She regularly wore an amplifier around her neck, and the hearing-impaired child wore a receiver with a battery pack much like the old-fashioned hearing aids that were once commonly used.  When one little girl was self-conscious about wearing hers, Mrs. E had a 'Cabbage Patch Day' when each child could bring a doll to class; then she fashioned a small 'hearing aid box' out of oak tag for that child's doll.  Immediately, the other children wanted one for their dolls, and wearing a hearing aid became the 'in thing.'  Suddenly the little girl was not different, but a trend-setter, to be copied and admired.  Can you imagine what that did for her self-confidence?  It was a small gesture with huge results."  Kansas Representative Ethel M. Peterson, 116th District