2017 Kansas
Master Teachers

John Butcher

Art Teacher
USD 229 Blue Valley

Melinda Eitel

Kindergarten Teacher
USD 305 Salina

Joan Hayden

Physical Education Teacher
USD 475 Geary County

Jennifer Hendrix

Physics Teacher
USD 443 Dodge City

Kimberly Hett

5th Grade Teacher
USD 385 Andover

Brandy Lane

6th Grade Teacher
USD 437 Auburn Washburn

Laura Schwinn

A/V Communications Teacher
USD 253 Emporia

Kansas Master Teacher Award


  

photo of Kimberly Hett

Kimberly Hett

2017 Kansas Master Teacher

5th Grade Teacher
Andover eCademy
USD 385 Andover

 

Imagine you are given the task of creating a school from scratch, incorporating technology, meaningful experiences, and significant support from families, the school district, and the community.

Kimberly Hett, along with her fellow instructional coaches, accomplished that task. They developed Andover eCademy.

“Through Kim’s can-do attitude, her extraordinary ability to bring people together for a common goal, and her tireless work ethic, a flourishing eCademy was built over time and thrives today,” an administrator states. “Kim is the ‘architect in chief’ for the school. It is a blended model, where in-house days, field trips, and live lessons help to set our virtual school apart from the others in our state.”

A virtual school necessitates close interaction with students’ parents as well as helping those parents improve as learning coaches – an area in which Hett excels, writes her principal. She encourages attendance and participation in Learning Coach workshops for eCademy’s staff, the parents, and their children. Her skill at adapting lessons for multiple environments, along with the differentiated needs of her students, is notable among parents.

“As a parent and a learning coach, I am grateful for Mrs. Hett’s creativity, teaching talents, and her ability to effectively interact with such diverse students,” states one parent.

“Not all students can be successful in a classroom of 27 of their peers,” Hett says. “Not all students have the physical or mental stamina to go to school for seven hours. These students – the more 'nontraditional' ones – have influenced my philosophy and its evolution over the years. This is where my passion for blended education has come from and continues to grow.”

In Hett’s classes, student growth occurs through technology-rich projects such as learning to code and Skyping with museums, national park rangers, and classrooms around the world. Guest speakers including community leaders, astronauts, multicultural singers and dancers are also brought in to show students different paths of life.

Hett earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Wichita State University in 1994 and a master’s in education from Baker University in 2009. She began her teaching career as a third-grade teacher in Andover USD 385 in 1994 and has been in the school district since then.

The appreciation of her students extends beyond just innovative class projects. “It is not her great lesson plans that she made that made her the best teacher I had growing up,” said a former student. “It was her heart. Her devoted, loving, caring, understanding, humbling, protecting, [no-nonsense] heart.”