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 Brandy Lane

Brandy Lane

2017 Kansas Master Teacher

6th Grade Teacher
Washburn Rural High School
USD 437 Auburn Washburn


Brandy Lane understands that a sixth-grade teacher “has the privilege of guiding students as they are beginning to choose who they are as individuals.”

“Mrs. Lane is extremely nice, but she will discipline us if we do something wrong,” writes one of her current students. “Think about it, if kids think they can do whatever they want and nobody will do anything about it then they will most likely grow up to be a person who makes a lot of bad choices in life.”

Lane’s goal is for every lesson to connect to her students’ lives and engage them in learning. Her top priority is “to introduce students to experiences they might not otherwise be afforded through curriculum or life circumstances,” such as trips to the Kansas Cosmosphere, the Topeka Symphony, or matinee performances by local theatre groups. Lane also works to inspire compassion in her students through civic engagement projects that teach them how to take action in their community.

As a teacher who “asks and acts,” says a colleague, Lane questions and considers all points of view. This is especially important as three out of four students she teaches live in poverty. Crucial among these questions is “What is the culture of this school from a parent’s perspective?”

“I know that every child is good and wholesome, and curious, and enthusiastic,” says Lane. “My students know that I am in their corner, fighting for them to realize the good and positive and amazing possibilities they possess all by themselves.”

“Mrs. Lane understands fair doesn’t mean every child gets the same thing. She ensures that every child that walks in her classroom gets what they need to be successful,” states a teaching colleague and parent of a child with Asperger’s syndrome.

Lane graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s in education from Washburn University, earned her master’s in education from Baker University in 2009, and received an ESOL endorsement from the University of Kansas in 2016. She taught in Valley Falls for two years and has been at Pauline South since 2009.

As she grows through her work with students and with her professional community, Lane says, “I am beginning to realize the impact I can have on teachers in a multitude of areas, sharing my strengths, struggles and strategies, just as they have so graciously done for me.”

“I want students to see me as a person who has pride in my best qualities, but who is still journeying toward become the person I want to be, just like them.”