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1974 Award Winners

1974 Kansas Master Teachers

Wanda Franzen, USD 253 Emporia

Arlene Garrett, USD 210 Hugoton

Ruben Grose, USD 308 Hutchinson

Louis Hayward, USD 389 Eureka

Clyde Johnson, USD 453 Leavenworth

Esther Overman, USD 493 Columbus

Norris Sayre, USD 102 Cimarron-Ensign


1974 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.

Wanda Franzen

Kindergarten Teacher

Walnut Elementary School

USD 253 Emporia

When a person has been an exceptional teacher in the same school for 30 years, she gets to be something of a legend. Wanda Franzen, kindergarten teacher at Walnut Elementary School in Emporia, is that.

Since Miss Franzen came to Walnut in 1944 well over 1,000 kindergarteners have been introduced to school in the atmosphere of her patient understanding, her quiet voice and peaceful manner, her outstanding training and skills with primary children.

She was born in Hillsboro and graduated from high school there with honors. Announcing to her father, then superintendent of Hillsboro schools, that "there are enough teachers in the family alrady," Miss Franzen entered Tabor College in a general arts program. By the time she had received the Associate of Arts degree two years later, she had changed her mind and went on to complete requirements for her 60-hour teaching certificate at Bethel College.

Her teaching career began in a rural school at Roxburg. From there she moved to Galva where she taught grades one and two. Two years later she enrolled at the Kansas State Teachers College and completed her Bachelor of Science degree. Summers in Colorado enabled her to complete her Master of Science degree in Education at Colorado State College in 1951.

Miss Franzen has been honored both for her teaching abilities and her contributions to the Emporia community. In 1963 the Walnut School's Parent Teacher Association honored her with a "This Is Your Life" program and a life membership in the organization. Two years previous to that the Emporia Gazette featured her as its "Woman of the Week."

In addition to being an outstanding educator, one of her major concerns is training student teachers. She has been a supervising teacher for many years, and spent one summer on the KSTC faculty instructing elementary education courses, and another summer on the Emporia Head Start faculty.

Miss Franzen is also active in the Association of Childhood Education International and has been state vice president and president of the Emporia branch of ACE for two terms. Her other activities are numerous.

As one colleague says, "As a teacher, she is superb. As a person, she is even better."

Arlene Garrett

Business and Commerce Teacher

USD 210 Hugoton

Education and educational honors are nothing new to Mrs. Arlene Garrett, a business and commerce teacher in the Hugoton public school system for 24 years.

The Kansas Master Teacher Award is the latest of many honors which include the Outstanding Secondary Educator of America in 1973; the 25-year Service Award as a teacher of youth from the University of Kansas School of Education in 1972; the Future Farmers of America Award for Outstanding Service in 1969; and the Kansas Congress of Parents and Teachers honorary life membership about 15 years ago.

Mrs. Garrett has been associated with education all her life. Her mother was a teacher in a one-room country school in New York. More recently, her own daughter, Jere Garrett Coleman, has been a teacher in Connecticut for the last five years. Her son, Gary, is now working with an electronics firm in Chicago.

Mrs. Garrett received her S.S. degree from East Central State Teachers College in Alva, Okla., in 1938. She also earned a Master of Teaching degree from there in 1954. She has also done graduate work at Oklahoma State University, Fort Hays Kansas State College, Kansas State College of Pittsburg, the University of Kansas, Wichita State University, Kansas State University, and several other colleges.

Her many activities of service to her community, church and school are numerous and impressive.

In addition to her primary classroom duties she has served as the sponsor to the Nurses Aid program since its inception 19 years ago.

Mrs. Garrett's outstanding classroom teaching has enabled many of her students to win honors in five-state area contests. By teaching a number of summer and evening classes for high school students and adults, she has contributed much to the field of continuing education in Hugoton. During the past two years, she has been involved in the Seward County Junior College "Outreach" program as an instructor of business courses in Hugoton.

She was chosen one of the teacher sponsors for the Hugoton Eagle Marching Band during the band's trip to Vienna in 1973.

Her career may be exemplified by these comments from a colleague. "She is one of the busiest, most dedicated and most successful teachers I have ever known. She has enriched the lives of many people and she has made noteworthy contributions in our school and community."

Ruben Grose

Special Education Teacher

Hutchinson Public School

USD 308 Hutchinson

Ruben Grose, like all the Kansas Master Teachers, is a special kind of educator. Mr. Grose, however, has dedicated his life to "special education," teaching the mentally retarded and the handicapped.

For 23 years he has taught in the Hutchinson Public School System and has become known, as a colleague puts it, as "an exceptional teacher."

While attending school at Sterling College, after military service in World War II, he decided he wanted to "make education fun ." After a year of college with a provisional teaching certificate, he taught four upper grades and served as a principal for two years. That experience helped him decide to make a life of working with young people, and particularly those with physical and emotional handicaps.

He received his B.S. degree from Fort Hays Kansas State College in 1951, and his M.A. from there in 1961. He has since done additional work at seven colleges and universities.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities Mr. Grose has served as a Board member and on many committees for the Reno County Association for Retarded Citizens; as treasurer, board member and on committees for the Ark Valley Council of Exceptional Children, is a member of NEA and KNEA and is very active in church work.

Mr. Grose says his goal for the students with whom he works is to help them become "independent men and women serving our community rather than becoming a burden to the community."

Mr. Grose's twin daughters are now both special education teachers.

He is held in high esteem by his fellow workers and friends. A colleague wrote about him: "If you measure a Master Teacher as one who puts the child first, one who relates pleasantly with his co-workers, one who is concerned for, and respected by, his parents and all this in a friendly, cooperative atmosphere, then Ruben stands very high at the top of the list."

Another put it very simply: "Mr. Grose is a Master Teacher."

Louis Hayward

Biological and Physical Science Teacher

Eureka High School

USD 389 Eureka

Louis Hayward's primary interest is teaching the student to think, not to memorize; to learn by doing rather than accepting textbook facts. Mr. Hayward has been a teacher of biological and physical science at Eureka High School for 17 years, but is an educator in many other aspects as well.

The innovator of several programs, Mr. Hayward established the local science fair for both elementary and secondary students. Many of his students have been grand award winners at the Emporia Regional Science Fair and at International Science Fairs throughout the United States.

Mr. Hayward has also innovated a traveling science program for elementary students, and one of his most popular innovations has been his Summer Advanced Mathematics and Science Program for accelerated students in the high school. His summer courses are offered as early as 6 a.m. so that working students may attend before going to their jobs.

A graduate of Winfield High School, Mr. Hayward served in the Armed Forces during World War II. After discharge from the service he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwestern College where he served as the charter president of the college chapter of Future Teachers of America.

Following graduation from college Mr. Hayward taught two years at Syracuse High School, then moved to Neodesha High School in 1954. After this year of teaching, he entered the automobile business with his father-in-law in Winfield. He sold the agency in 1957 and returned to the teaching profession, moving to Eureka in the summer of 1957 where he has been for the past 17 years.

He has done extensive study in both the biological and physical sciences with numerous National Science Foundation grants and scholarships at the Kansas State Teachers College. He also serves as the Title I coordinator for the federally funded programs in special reading, physical education and pre-kindergarten.

Mr. Hayward is a member of the National Education Association, Kansas NEA, Eureka USD 389 Teachers Association, Kansas Association of Science Teachers, and the National Science Teachers Association. As a member of the local teachers association, he has served two terms as president, zone school delegate, and is presently serving as a local delegate to the Kansas NEA State Representative Assembly.

He is also serving his second year as the director for Southeastern Kansas Junior Academy of Science and Area Representative for Southwestern College.

His son, Larry, a science pre-med major at KSTC, summed up his qualifications as a Master Teacher: "As many of the people of this community often say, the learning process does not stop at the classroom when you're with this man."

Clyde Johnson

Chair, Business Education Department

Leavenworth High School

USD 453 Leavenworth

Clyde Johnson, the "dean of office education coordinators," was one of the earliest proponents of vocational education in the high schools of Kansas.

Mr. Johnson, an educator for 41 years and chairman of the Business Education Department at Leavenworth High School for 31 years, initiated one of the first vocational cooperative programs in office education and distributive education at Leavenworth High School in 1947.

Mr. Johnson joined the faculty at Leavenworth High School in 1941 and in two years was promoted to Head of the Department. In addition, he served as bookkeeper for the school and for some time served as assistant basketball coach at the senior high as well as at the junior high school.

After receiving his 60-hour teaching certificate from Central Missouri State Teachers College, Mr. Johnson taught in small schools in Missouri. He continued to attend CMSTC and received his bachelor's degree in 1938. He earned his master's degree in vocational business education from Kansas State Teachers College in 1951.

Mr. Johnson is also well-known and respected for his many contributions to the Leavenworth community. While serving as president of the Leavenworth City Teachers Association in 1958, he established the Leavenworth Teachers Credit Union and was the promoter of an annual scholarship which the Credit Union provides to a student interested in teaching. He now serves as treasurer of the Credit Union and is a member of the Board of Directors and the Scholarship Board.

He is also active in the Youth Unlimited Organization in Leavenworth, which provides home-teaching opportunities for young offenders referred to the organization through the Probate Court. He was instrumental in the remodeling of a house for these boys which was donated by the City. The house was named "The Second Mile" at Mr. Johnson's suggestion and he now serves as a member of its Executive Board.

He is also a "master builder," having built 15 new homes and remodeled five during his summer vacations. He is also credited with establishing a church with a congregation of 170 which grew out of a Bible class he taught as a young man. When a new church was built six years ago, Mr. Johnson was one of the three members of the committee responsible for its erection.

One friend noted that "all of the many projects or programs that Clyde has been responsible for initiating are continuing to serve the community today."

Esther Overman


Central Junior High School

USD 493 Columbus

"You've got to love 'em to grow 'em-I don't care if its flowers, pets, or a child," is the philosophy of Esther Overman, teacher and friend of most everyone in Cherokee and Labette Counties.

A teacher at Central Junior High School in Columbus since 1949, Mrs. Overman is a native of Hallowell in Cherokee County and took her first job in 1928 as a teacher of a rural one-room school in Cherokee County.

Mrs. Overman started teaching in 1928 on a Normal Training Certificate and received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1941 from Kansas State College of Pittsburg. She has also taught at Oswego, Park School in Columbus, Wichita and Faulkner.

For her first 20 years on the faculty at Columbus Junior High School, Mrs. Overman taught in the English Department. She now teaches Social Living to seventh and eighth grades. After 37 years on the faculty there, one colleague describes her energy, vigor and enthusiasm as having "the appearance of a first semester student teacher."

Many years ago Mrs. Overman dedicated her life totally to helping youth of the Columbus community. She instigated the Junior Red Cross in the Columbus elementary school system in 1951 and still serves as the organization's adult leader.

As an English instructor for many years, she encouraged her students to participate in the Daughters of the American Revolution History-Essay Contests. Columbus students have received several first and second place awards at the state level of competition, which were due, according to the Columbus chapter, to the inspiring and untiring efforts of Mrs. Overman.

She also serves youth through her church as assistant superintendent of the Junior Department as well as substitute teacher.

Mrs. Overman and her husband have also long been involved in Neosho-Cottonwood Flood Control and Conservation of Soil. She is past secretary of the association, and she and her husband received the Bankers Award for Soil Conservation in Cherokee County in 1969.

One friend observed: "Mrs. Overman has been prominent in community projects and her selection for various positions of public trust and responsibility are further indicative of her personal dedication and respect by her administrators, teachers, students and parents of her students."

And another: "She is not only a Master Teacher but a Master Friend with great compassion."

Norris Sayre

Elementary and High School Principal, Assistant Superintendent

USD 102 Cimarron-Ensign

"Norris Sayre," a co-worker wrote," is without question one of the finest individuals and educators with whom I have had the privilege of working."

That typifies the many comments made about this 197 4 Kansas Master Teacher.

Mr. Sayre, who serves as high school and elementary school principal in the Ensign schools as well as assistant superintendent of U.S.D. 102, has devoted most of his life to Ensign.

Born there, he is a member of a pioneer family which settled in Gray County in 1878. He began his teaching career in the Ensign schools, teaching all subjects in the seventh and eighth grades during the 1949-50 school year. He then began 11 years at Ensign High School teaching commerce, mathematics and Spanish, coaching girls' basketball and girls' and boys' tennis, directing plays and sponsoring the yearbook.

Mr. Sayre began his college work at Kansas State University in 1936. After working his way through school and serving in the Army he received his degree in 1950. He earned an M.S. degree from the Kansas State Teachers College in 1961 and has done further graduate work at both colleges.

He has been active in professional education associations in many capacities as a member and officer and has served in civil and social organizations as well. He has served the city of Ensign as both Councilman and Mayor. He and his wife, Joan, have two sons.

Many of his colleagues wrote in support of his nomination for the Master Teacher Award. One said: "I have yet to meet an individual with such outstanding dedication to the profession of serving young people. Many educators express their concern and belief in our younger generation, but few follow through and put into practice these beliefs, as has been demonstrated by Norris. Not only does his concern and dedication touch the student, but he carries this through to his teachers who hold him in highest esteem."

And a former student wrote: "Norris Sayre is one of the most sincere, dedicated, mature people I have ever known."