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

Betty Lavery

Betty Lavery

2001 Kansas Master Teacher

Physical Education Teacher
Stilwell Elementary School
USD 229, Stilwell

visit all 2001 winners

Teaching Philosophy

"As a teacher I endeavor to do the best job of teaching each and every child.  I believe that each child in every class expects and deserves my best teaching efforts every day.  I am never content to do the same old thing, but I am constantly looking for better ways to improve my teaching and reach each student.  It is important for a teacher to be open minded and willing to try new ideas and teaching methods.  A variety of teaching styles must be used to reach all students.  Although basic lesson themes never change they should constantly be modified to better meet the needs of the students . . . I attempt to instill the love of learning and of moving in all my students.  They need to know that learning never stops and that skills and knowledge learned now form the foundation for the future and will be used throughout their lives."

Honors and Awards

  • 2001 - Central District AAHPERD Honor Award
  • 2000 - KAHPERD Service Award
  • 2000 - Contributing Author, "Physical Essentials Elementary Physical Education Curriculum"
  • 1997 - KAHPERD Exemplary Elementary Physical Education Program Merit Award
  • 1992 - KAHPERD Service Award
  • 1992 - Southwestern Bell Kansas Educational Foundation Program Grant
  • 1990 - Kansas Department of Health and Environment Playground Safety Task Force
  • 1989 - Blue Valley School District Excellence in Education Award
  • 1984 - Kansas Department of Education Physical Education Curriculum Writing Committee Stilwell PTO Grants

What People Say

"Betty makes learning fun.  Whether it is dancing with students or dressing up as a Sumo wrestler in a very padded suit to spar with the principal in an all-school assembly, students like her and enjoy her classes while learning many valuable lifetime skills and attitudes." 

Dr. Steven L. McIlvain, deputy superintendent educational services

"Betty is a wonderful elementary physical education teacher.  In fact, in my 25 years in the field of education, she is the best elementary physical education teacher I have ever worked with.  She prepares lessons that are challenging and fun for her students.  Her lessons are always developmentally appropriate for her students and engage them in activities that enhance their physical fitness and motor skills.  Her lessons reflect good teaching practices and she also uses various instruments to monitor and assess student growth.  She always is coming up with new and unique games and activities for students to participate in.  Students of all ability levels enjoy her class.  Betty motivates students through her energy and enthusiasm.  She instills in students a love for life long learning and especially for life long fitness." 

Steve Frazell, Stilwell Elementary principal

"Mrs. Lavery has had a definite impact in my life as far as the career path in which I chose.  When deciding on whether or not teaching was the right road for me I took some time to reflect back on my past teachers.  In all of my years of physical education, Mrs. Lavery was the one teacher that really stuck out in my mind.  She was and still is a very friendly, helpful teacher, who cares very much for all of her students.  She helped me to appreciate that lifetime physical activity was necessary for overall health and well being."

Anthony Orrick, former student and current student teacher