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1957 Award Winners

1957 Kansas Master Teachers

Ruth Flory Sexton, USD 282 Elk County Schools

Maud Ellsworth, Kansas University

Una Funk, USD 417 Morris County

Clyde U. Phillips, USD 489 Hays

Katherine A. Tucker, USD 501 Topeka

Teresa McDonald Coffey, USD 113 Axtell

Mildred P. Parker, USD 308 Hutchinson


1957 KMT Program.pdf

This program contains the names of the Master Teacher Nominees for the year listed here.

Biographies below were included in the program for the year listed here and were current as of that time.

Ruth Flory Sexton


USD 282 Elk County Schools

Completing her thirty-ninth year of service to Kansas education is Mrs. Ruth Flory Sexton, county superintendent of Elk County, Kansas, tor the past six years. She has taught at both elementary and secondary levels, in rural and town schools, and her career includes seventeen years as a teacher in Elk County schools.

Mrs. Sexton now is serving as president of the Elk County Teachers Association, and was treasurer of the group for five years.

A native of Pueblo, Colorado, and a graduate of Howard High School, Mrs. Sexton attended Kansas University, Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg, Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College, and Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree from the Emporia school in 1930. She also has earned graduate credit at the Emporia institution.

Maud Ellsworth

Associate Professor, Art Education

Kansas University

The career of Miss Maud Ellsworth, Associate Professor of Art Education at Kansas University, has been long and distinguished, and it includes work with students at all levels from primary department through college.

Upon her graduation from Pleasanton High School, Miss Ellsworth, a native of Fontana, taught for three years in the rural schools of Linn County. Resuming her teaching career after a five-year absence, she taught for the next nine years in city elementary schools in Linn County and Miami County. In 1931 she joined the faculty of Kansas University, and for twenty years thereafter she also served as supervisor of art for the Lawrence Public Schools.

Miss Ellsworth has attended Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg and Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia; holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Kansas University; and has done advanced graduate work at Columbia University, National University of Mexico, and University of Colorado.

Una Funk

Social Science Teacher, Counselor

USD 417 Morris County

Mrs. Una Funk is now a social-science teacher and counselor at the rural high school in her home town, Council Grove, where her parents still live. Since joining the staff there in 1940, she has had various assignments, including those of principal and acting superintendent.

Mrs. Funk taught for two terms at Kensington High School. Later, she taught social science at Irving High School for one year and at Meade High School for three years. For the next three years she was normal-training instructor at Ellsworth High School. She was out of the profession for several years before joining the Council Grove staff.

After two years of undergraduate study at Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia, Mrs. Funk completed work for a Bachelor of Arts degree at Kansas University. She has done graduate work at Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia, and has attended a summer workshop at Colorado University.

Clyde U. Phillips


USD 489 Hays

Clyde U. Phillips, superintendent of schools at Hays for the past twenty-six years, has contributed a great deal to the progress of both the public schools and the Hays Catholic elementary schools, which he has supervised since 1941.

All buildings in the Hays school system have been modernized and enlarged under Mr. Phillips' leadership. Of 105 teachers on the Hays staff, only five have less than a college degree, and thirty have master's degrees. Mr. Phillips has been recognized for his cooperation with the Fort Hays Kansas State College teacher-training program, as well as with civic and religious groups.

Mr. Phillips earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg in 1918 and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago in 1926. He has done advanced graduate work at Columbia University, Kansas University, and Fort Hays Kansas State College. As a member of many honorary and professional organizations, he has served often on important committees and has held numerous offices.

Katherine A. Tucker

Home Economics Teacher

USD 501 Topeka

Miss Katherine A. Tucker, a consultant in home economics in the Topeka Public Schools for the past sixteen years, has a rich background of experience that includes teaching adult classes as well as classes in junior and senior high school and college, directing boys' home-economics classes, and working in the field of school lunchroom management.

Before her appointment as consultant, she served for twenty-one years as a home economics teacher at Topeka High School. Her early experience included teaching home economics at Kansas City School for the Blind, Wilson, Chapman, and Chanute.

Miss Tucker's achievements in the field of education have been recognized by fellow educators throughout the United States. She has conducted workshops on the graduate level at the University of Florida and University of Wyoming as well as at Kansas State College. She has written articles for professional magazines and has cooperated in preparing professional materials such as curriculum guides.

A native of Holton, Miss Tucker attended Kansas State College's preparatory school and then went on to earn her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees at Kansas State College. In addition she has attended Columbia University, Iowa State College, Washburn University, Kansas University, and Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College.

Teresa McDonald Coffey

Grade Principal and Primary Teacher

USD 113 Axtell

Teresa McDonald Coffey, grade principal and primary teacher at Axtell, Kansas, planned for a career as a primary teacher while still in junior high school. Now completing her twenty-eighth term as a teacher, she reports that she is " ... still very happy, interested aud challenged and still studying the curriculum."

A native Nebraskan, Mrs. Coffey began her teaching career in a rural school in Marshall County, Kansas. A year later she became primary teacher at Summerfield, Kansas, where she had been graduated from high school.

In 1929 Mrs. Coffey took a job in the Atchison schools and there became convinced that "I would enjoy children of all ages." She was principal during the last four years of her sixteen-year tenure at Atchison.

After her marriage in 1945 to an Axtell stockman, Mrs. Coffey quit teaching until the teacher shortage led her back to her profession in 1947 as teacher of the rural school near her farm home. Her local district later consolidated with the Axtell schools, and in 1953 she accepted her present assignment.

Mrs. Coffey received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1929 from Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia, and a Master of Arts degree in 1939 from George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, Tennessee. During the summers of 1937, 1938, and 1939 she worked at the Nashville school with a Kansas group on Reorganization of Instruction.

Mildred P. Parker

Biology Teacher

Hutchinson High School

USD 308 Hutchinson

Miss Mildred P. Parker, chairman of the department of biology at Hutchinson High School since 1942, has made outstanding contributions to her field during her thirty-seven years of teaching. Before accepting her present post, she spent six years as an elementary teacher in Kansas and Oklahoma schools, and sixteen years as a biology teacher at Drumright, Oklahoma, High School.

During her fifteen years at Hutchinson, Miss Parker has been instrumental in influencing nearly one hundred boys and girls to enter the field of science. In the group are eleven physicians and surgeons, one of whom is practicing now in Hutchinson. Many nurses-in-training at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Hutchinson have attended anatomy courses taught by Miss Parker in addition to her regular school work.

The well-equipped biology department at Hutchinson High has grown steadily under Miss Parker's direction. As chairman of the department, she guided a revision of the course of study so that it includes an individual science project by each enrollee. "Project Day," sponsored each spring by the department, has attracted attention of educators from nearby colleges.

Miss Parker attended Fort Hays Kansas State College before receiving her A.B. and M.A. degrees from Kansas University. She has done advanced graduate work at Kansas University and at Colorado University.