2018 Kansas
Master Teachers

Connstance Allmond

High Incident/Intellectual Disability Teacher
USD 490 El Dorado

Deanna K. Burton

Social Studies Teacher
USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden

Abby Cornelius

Library Media Specialist
USD 229 Blue Valley

Todd Flory

Fourth-Grade Teacher
USD 385 Andover

Chitra Harris

Science Teacher
USD 259 Wichita

Matthew Irby

Science Teacher
USD 253 Emporia

Kimberly S. Schneweis

Visual Art Teacher
USD 489 Hays

Kansas Master Teacher Award



Kimberly S. Schneweis

2018 Kansas Master Teacher

Visual Art Teacher
Hays Middle School
USD 489 Hays


As an art teacher, Kimberly Schneweis strives to reveal the connections between art and life to her students. When visual art is incorporated into other subject areas, students make connections. And by creating art, students connect with their own experiences and feelings. Schneweis states, “Visual art is often thought of as an ‘extra’ when it could serve as the connector that ties everything else together.”

In her classroom, it all starts with the creation of something new. Because her middle school students are in between childhood and becoming adults, she gives them opportunities to work on projects that allow them to express frustration.

For one such project, Schneweis goes beyond instructing students on artistic technique and asks her students to write an artist’s statement – a philosophy or opinion about what compelled them to create the image. These statements often reveal family struggles, self-image issues, or problems with ownership over their lives.

Schneweis earned a bachelor’s degree in art education in 1984 and a master’s in educational administration in 2001, both from Fort Hays State University. She began her teaching career as an elementary art teacher in USD 489 Hays in 1989 and has been in the school district since then.

As Schneweis benefited from a mentor teacher in her early career, she gladly mentors student teachers – a total of 25 so far. “I always come away from each experience gaining a little perspective, or a new idea.”

Throughout her career as an art teacher, Schneweis has continually advocated for art education, both in her school and the wider community – fighting for student needs in board rooms, public arenas, and in the state capitol. “(Kim) stands up for what she believes,” writes an administrator, who was once one of Schneweis’s students.

“(She) often puts aside her own best interests for the cause of the greater good,” writes a colleague. “Kim knows how to get things done.”

Summarizing her 29 years in the classroom, Schneweis said, “I have never felt I was too experienced to learn something new.”