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

Leona Madden

Leona Madden

2001 Kansas Master Teacher

Library Media Specialist
Lincoln Elementary School
USD 489 Hays

visit all 2001 winners


Teaching Philosophy

"We, as professional educators, must respect each and every student for their individuality and strive to provide them with the best educational opportunity possible in order for them to reach their greatest potential.  What an awesome responsibility!  But what greater thrill is there than watching a child learn?  What greater reward than seeing a child's eyes light up when he suddenly understands something?  Education is more than dispensing knowledge; it is encouraging creativity and the honing of thinking processes.  There is too much knowledge to learn it all; knowing how to go about finding information is a basic skill.  Hence, libraries play an important role.  Libraries are also the ideal place to provide access to varying points of view.  In our changing global society, children must learn to be problem-solvers, to be able to utilize print and non-print materials, to locate and comprehend needed information, to be creative, and to adapt to change.  Some of our students will grow to be the innovators of some of that change."

 Honors and Awards

Graduated Cum Laude from Fort Hays State University

Outstanding Educator Award, High Plains Reading Association

Three-time Nominee for Kansas Reading Educator of the Year


What People Say

"In my experience, the most significant characteristics of a 'master' teacher are enthusiasm for his or her discipline and the understanding that he or she impacts the total educational, social and emotional development of a child.  Mrs. Madden exemplifies these traits through her efforts to employ 'best practices' as a librarian, as an educator in support of the classroom teachers through quality research, preparation and presentation of library and related resources, and as a role model for children.  She sees her ultimate goal as instilling in every child, through whatever means most meets the child's needs, the conviction that he or she can be a successful reader and seeker of knowledge.  She incorporates technology as a tool to enhance student learning, not to replace the skill and love of reading books . . . She builds on classroom themes with programs and enhanced learning opportunities which encourage children to see themselves as a valuable part of society, to appreciate differences in peoples and cultures, to accept other viewpoints with understanding, to work together, to be creative, and to 'stretch' for greater personal goals."  Kathy M. Spicer, parent and member of USD 489 Board of Education 

"Mrs. Madden is my favorite teacher and always will be.  I'll always remember those times when Mrs. Madden would call us down to the special place in front of the fireplace.  When she read to us she never made it sound boring.  It seemed she had a special voice for each and every character. . . When I walk into the library I never know what book to choose.  But Mrs. Madden is always there to help me find a book."  Evan Talkington, student

"Lee is a positive, loyal, supportive staff member who is liked and respected by peers, students, and parents.  She is good for the students of USD 489, good for promoting the education profession, and good for the community of Hays.  She represents the best of what is good about education."  Will Roth, assistant superintendent, USD 489