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1963 Award Winners

1963 Kansas Master Teachers

May Gruver, USD 402 Augusta

Alta Hendrickson, USD 274 Oakley

Walter M. Ostenberg, USD 305 Salina

Pearl Peterie, USD 347 Kinsley-Offerle

Phebe Scott, USD 260 Derby

Martha Steele, USD 352 Goodland

Charles Edward Strange, USD 259 Wichita


1963 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.

May Gruver

World and American History Teacher

Augusta High School

USD 402 Augusta

May Gruver has been teaching boys and girls of Augusta since 1931, when she graduated from Northwestern University. Currently she is teaching world and American history in Augusta High School, but she has been junior high principal and has taught English and social studies at the junior high school level. Furthermore, she was a member of the Augusta Board of Education during a three-year period in the 1940's when illness in her family made it impossible for her to teach.

Miss Gruver is active in local, state, and national professional associations. She has been president of the Augusta Teachers Association and a member of the Board of Directors of the Kansas State Teachers Association. She is also a member of the National Council for the Social Studies.

Her activities are not confined to education, however; she served on the Augusta library board for ten years, taught the Women's Bible Class of the Methodist Church, and was president of the Business and Professional Women's Club.

In addition to her baccalaureate degree from Northwestern, she holds the master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia, and has done further graduate study at the University of Wyoming and University of Wichita.

Alta Hendrickson


Oakley Elementary School

USD 274 Oakley

Alta Hendrickson, principal of the elementary school at Oakley, began her teaching career in the rural schools of Hodgeman County. After eleven years of teaching, she became county superintendent, an office which she held for eight years.

Miss Hendrickson moved to Oakley in 1941 as a special reading teacher. She served as principal of both the elementary and junior high schools from 1943 to 1955, and has been in her present assignment since 1955.

Although she holds the bachelor's degree from Kansas State College, Pittsburg, and the master's from Colorado State College at Greeley, Miss Hendrickson has not discontinued formal study-she is working toward the degree, Specialist in Education, at Fort Hays State College. She has taken course work toward that degree during the last four summer sessions.

Miss Hendrickson is currently president of the local teachers association in Oakley. She is a member of the Kansas State Teachers Association and the National Education Association.

One of her colleagues had this to say about Miss Hendrickson: "She has all of the qualifications necessary for a top-notch teacher. She is alert, active, quick, very intelligent, understanding, and has a marvelous sense of humor. Her amazing supply of energy often shames those who are several years younger. In appearance she is every inch the school administrator-rather tall, straight, with a kindly face and gentle eyes that usually carry a twinkle."

Walter M. Ostenberg


Salina City Schools

USD 305 Salina

As superintendent of the Salina City Schools, W. M. Ostenberg is responsible for the education of more than 10,000 boys and girls. This is more than twice the number enrolled in the Salina schools when he went to that community in 1950. To meet their growing needs, he has planned and supervised the construction of buildings costing more than $7,000,000.

"Ostie," as he is known by thousands of Kansas teachers and administrators, was born in McPherson County. He graduated from Bethany College. His first teaching assignment was at Eureka, where he taught English, speech, and journalism-and where his high school debate team won the state tournament. He became principal of the high school, then superintendent of schools in Eureka. In 1937 he was appointed Dean of the Coffeyville Junior College, and in 1942, Superintendent of Schools in Coffeyville. He remained in that assignment until he moved to Salina in 1950.

Mr. Ostenberg holds the master's degree from Colorado State College at Greeley, and has done additional graduate study at the University of Kansas, Colorado, and Stanford.

Active in many professional and c1v1c organizations, Mr. Ostenberg has held nearly every important office in the Kansas State Teachers Association at one time or another. For more than twenty-five years he has been a member of the legislative committee of the KST A. He has been president of the Chamber of Commerce in both Salina and Coffeyville.

Mr. Ostenberg is much in demand as a speaker. He is regarded as an "ambassador of good will" for public schools; because of his keen wit and sense of humor, he is extremely effective at getting education's message to lay groups.

Pearl Peterie

English, Latin, and Journalism Teacher

Kinsley High School

USD 347 Kinsley-Offerle

Pearl Peterie, teacher of English, Latin, and journalism at Kinsley High School, was born in Edwards County and has devoted her life to teaching the boys and girls of that county. With the exception of one year when she taught in Kiowa, she has held a teaching assignment in Edwards County continuously since 1924.

Miss Peterie obtained her education "the hard way." She started teaching on a normal training certificate immediately after she graduated from high school, so she had to earn a college degree through summer sessions, correspondence and extension courses. In 1936 she was awarded a baccalaureate degree by Fort Hays State College; in 1959 she received the master's degree from the same institution, having written a thesis on the spirit of patriotism in Stephen Vincent Benet's poetry. Although her chief interest has been her own classroom, Miss Peterie has not neglected professional and civic responsibilities. She has served as president of the Kinsley Teachers Association and of the Kinsley Library Board. She is active in the Methodist Church and the PEO.

Among the many letters of recommendation received by the Selection Committee concerning Miss Peterie was one from the president of the Kinsley High School Student Council. It contained this statement: "We feel very fortunate to have Miss Peterie as our teacher. We find her strict, yet fair; serious, yet with a keen sense of humor, and interested in our daily progress as well as our future welfare and ultimate achievement. Her many years of experience have served to sharpen her enthusiasm for helping youth, and she is ever available for the help and encouragement we seek."

Phebe Scott

Elementary Teacher

Oaklawn School

USD 260 Derby

For the past nine years, Phebe Scott has taught in the elementary grades of the Derby Public Schools. Her present assignment is sixth grade teacher at the Oaklawn School, one of the six elementary schools in Derby.

Mrs. Scott started her teaching career in the rural schools of Ness County. Before moving to Derby, she taught at Arnold, Brownell, LaCrosse, Englewood, and the Beechwood School in Sedgwick County.

Her first college work was done at Fort Hays, but she holds the baccalaureate degree from Friends University. She has done graduate study at Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, and at Kansas State University, Manhattan.

Mrs. Scott was selected as the candidate to represent her local association "not only because of her fine reputation as a classroom teacher but also for the excellent contributions that she has made over the years to the Derby Education Association, Kansas State Teachers Association, and the teaching profession in general." She is a past-president of the Derby Education Association.

The superintendent of the Derby Schools has said that Mrs. Scott "is outstanding in many respects. Her inspirational classroom atmosphere is, beyond question, one of the keys to her tremendous success. Children love to work for Mrs. Scott and in the process acquire a lasting love for learning."

Martha Steele


Sherman County Schools

USD 352 Goodland

As County Superintendent of Schools in Sherman County since 1941, Mrs. Martha Steele has had a tremendous influence on the education of hundreds of Western Kansas boys and girls. This is an area of the state Mrs. Steele knows very well; she was born in Cheyenne County and has lived all her life in Sherman County.

After teaching rural schools in the county for several years, Mrs. Steele submitted herself as a candidate for the office of County Superintendent. She was elected in the fall of 1940 and has held the office since that time.

Mrs. Steele has attended Trenton Junior College, Fort Hays State College, and Denver University. She has been active in several professional organizations, including the Sherman County Teachers Association, the Kansas State Teachers Association, and the National Education Association. She has served as president of the county association on two occasions, and is a member of the legislative committee of the KSTA.

During the past year, Mrs. Steele has been president of the Kansas County Teachers Association. She has been called "the most outstanding county superintendent in the state of Kansas."

Charles Edward Strange


Wichita High School

USD 259 Wichita

C. E. Strange, principal of Wichita High School North, was born on a farm near Blue Rapids, Kansas. He walked a mile to the rural school he attended through eight grades, then walked five miles into Blue Rapids to get his high school education. His college degree was earned by summer attendance at Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia.

Mr. Strange began his teaching career as principal and teacher of the upper grades at Lillis in 1919-20. During the next several years he taught at Glen Elder and Downs, then was appointed principal of the junior high school at Augusta. From Augusta he moved to Wichita, where he served as an elementary and junior high school principal before moving to his present assignment in 1946.

Always interested in professional activities, Mr. Strange served as president of the Wichita City Teachers Association in 1936. He belongs to the KSTA and NEA, as well as such groups as the Association of Secondary School Principals, and has been active in the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. For eighteen years he has served on the committee on accreditation for the North Central.

Mr. Strange holds the master's degree from the University of Chicago and has done considerable graduate study beyond the master's, at Chicago and the University of Colorado.

According to one of his colleagues, one of Mr. Strange's outstanding characteristics "is his humaneness. Every teacher and every pupil at North will testify that he feels that, in Mr. Strange's eyes and heart, he is an individual with a special and important role to play in the welfare of the school. From this comes the esprit de corps for which Wichita High School North is well known."