2004 Kansas
Master Teachers

Mary Elizabeth Baker

K-5 Reading Specialist
USD 385 Andover

Luana "Lu" Bitter

Physical Education, Health, Anatomy & Physiology
USD 382 Pratt

Patricia Grzenda

Adaptive Physical Education
USD 497 Lawrence

Nicki Hancock

Grade 12 English
USD 233 Olathe

Greg Mittman**

Eighth Grade Social Studies
USD 262 Valley Center

Devra Parker**

English III, College English and Creative Writing
USD 254 Barber County

Patricia "Trish" Weidert

First Grade
USD 253 Emporia



William Samuelson*

Emporia State University

Kansas Master Teacher Award

Patricia (Trish) Weidert

Patricia "Trish" Weidert

2004 Kansas Master Teacher

First Grade Teacher
Walnut Elementary School
USD 253 Emporia

visit all 2004 winners


Teaching Philosophy

As a first grade teacher, Mrs. Weidert works with the building blocks of education.  "These blocks become the foundation, the ABCs and 123s, for the rest of the students' lives.

Appreciation for the public school system. . . . Belief that all children should be given the opportunity to learn . . . . Commitment to profession and community."

In order for Mrs. Weidert to teach in the public school system, she employs the 1, 2, and 3s, of education.  They are, "1 curriculum . . . . 2 groups working together--parents and teachers . . . . 3 primary concepts that all children must learn--reading, writing, arithmetic.

Mrs. Weidert engages her students through participating in Read Across America and the local Young Writer's Conference, through designing art projects involving students' families, and inviting community leaders into her classroom to share their own expertise.

Honors and Awards

President and President-Elect--Emporia National Education Association, 2001-2003
Six Rivers Uniserv Representative--Kansas National Teachers Association, 2002
Six Rivers Advisory Board Member--Kansas National Teachers Association, 2003
USD 253 Kansas Teacher of the Year nominee, 2003
Emporia Master Teacher, 2004
Woman of the Year--Beta Sigma Phi 1996, 1996

What People Say

"She captures the children's hearts as well as their minds, and does it in a quiet and soft-spoken way that only a first grade teacher knows how to do," said Emporia school superintendent John Heim.

A former student, Grant Carson who is a freshman in high school writes, "Another friend and I were horse-playing in the restroom . . . and we got caught.  I thought because my mom worked at the school that I could do anything without being penalized.  Mrs. Weidert proved me wrong.  Conrad and I both got 'Time Out" for one WHOLE day!  It was SOOOO boring.  I learned from time out that I never wanted to get in trouble.  It was the worst thing a 2nd grader could have gone through.  But, I also learned a more important lesson.  I learned that Mrs. Weidert was a very fair teacher and had the same expectations for all of her students.  She demanded the best and treated each of us fairly and equally."

A colleague, Susan McKinney writes, "Trish is truly an outstanding teacher in giving her students a solid foundation and eagerness to learn more.  With years of experience as a classroom teacher, she brings the best in teaching skills, creativity, and resources.  She doesn't sway with the popular breezes of the latest fad, yet she remains open to, sifts through, and recognizes the best of new technologies, learning theory, skills and materials to add to her repertoire."