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Kansas Master Teacher 2023 Winners

Congratulations to the 2023 Kansas Master Teachers

2023 Kansas Master Teacher Winners

Representing 174 years of classroom experience, seven members of the class of 2023 Kansas Master Teachers were announced on Feb. 21, 2023. The teachers chosen for this annual award are:

  • Kristen Anderson, Fifth Grade at North Fairview Elementary School in USD 345 Seaman;
  • Kirstin Bangerter, English Teacher at Dodge City High School in USD 443 Dodge City;
  • Jerald Braun, Gifted Education at Hays Middle School and High School USD 489 Hays;
  • Matt Christensen, Social Studies at Blue Valley Southwest High School in USD 229 Blue Valley Schools;
  • Melissa Hall, STEM/Technology Teacher at Fort Riley Middle School in USD 475 Geary County;
  • Martha MacKay, Physical Science Teacher at Emporia High School in USD 253 Emporia; and
  • Maggie Wolken, Kindergarten Teacher at Chanute Elementary School in USD 413 Chanute.

Through the support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, each Master Teacher will be presented with a check for $1,000.

The recipients were selected by a nine-member committee including representatives from the Kansas Association of Principals, Kansas Association of School Boards, Kansas State Board of Education, Kansas Parent Teacher Organization, Kansas National Education Association, United School Administrators, ESU’s Kappa Delta Pi student organization and representatives of the 2020 and 2022 Kansas Master Teacher classes.

The 2023 Master Teachers will be honored on Master Teacher Day on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, at Emporia State University. As part of several recognition activities, the teachers will tour the National Teachers Hall of Fame, one-room schoolhouse and participate in the How We Teach This Podcast. The teachers will then be honored during a social hour at 5:45 p.m. in Webb Hall Lobby of Emporia State’s Memorial Union followed by the banquet and award ceremony at 6:30 p.m. in Webb Hall.

ESU established the Kansas Master Teacher awards in 1954. The awards are presented annually to selected teachers who demonstrate the attributes of exemplary professional educators. Information on the 70 years of educators named Kansas Master Teachers is available at

Since 1980, Bank of America has pledged more than $100,000 to permanently endow the Kansas Master Teacher awards. In 1984, the Black family of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, established an endowed chair for Kansas Master Teachers. The fund provides a stipend to bring two Master Teachers to Emporia State for several days. During this time, the teachers present to classes of education students and are members of the Kansas Master Teachers Selection Committee.