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1977 Award Winners

1977 Kansas Master Teachers

Jean Curl, USD 500 Kansas City, Kansas

Fred Deyoe, USD 443 Dodge City

Joan Hanna, USD 465 Whittier

Shirley Longfellow, Butler County Community College

Martha McReynolds, USD 244 Burlington

Gene Russell, USD 499 Galena

Dan Tewell, USD 250 Pittsburg


1977 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.

Jean Curl

Second Grade Teacher

Bluemont School

USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden

Jean Curl, Owensville, Indiana native, is History teacher at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City where she has been since 1955. She taught third grade at Chelsea Elementary School in Kansas City 1950-1954.

Miss Curl received her B.A. in History in 1950 from Park College in Parkville, Missouri, and her M.A. in History in 1955 from the University of Kansas. She has done additional study at KU, Kansas State University, and Emporia State.

She has received the Distinguished Alumni Award and been selected for the Alpha Delta Academic Honor Society at Park College, and received a 25-year Service Certificate from the University of Kansas. Miss Curl has been a Park College trustee and President of an Alumni Association Chapter there.

At Wyandotte High, she has sponsored the International Relations Club and the American Field Service. She has also accompanied students to the Model United Nations activities at Park College and the Kansas High School Domestic and Foreign Affairs Conference at Emporia State.

She is a member of several professional and civic organizations, including National Education Association, Kansas State Historical Society, Wyandotte County Historical Society, National Trust for Historic Preservation, American Association of University Women, and Young Women's Christian Association. A member of the First United Presbyterian Church, Miss Curl served in the United States Navy Women's Reserve during World War II.

"Miss Curl spends much time helping students outside of school," wrote one colleague. "Her interest follows many students through college; many of these students return regularly for her advice.

"Jean never demanded more than a child could give, nor was she willing to accept less."

Miss Curls' former students also had words of praise for this Master Teacher.

"She emphasized careers for women when it wasn't yet fashionable," remembers one. "She better prepared her students for the reality of today's world.

Fred Deyoe

English and Drama Teacher

Dodge City Junior High School

USD 443 Dodge City

Fred M. Deyoe, English and Drama instructor in the Dodge City Junior High School, believes in today's youth. After 27 years of teaching junior high school students, Mr. Deyoe says "today's youth have as much potential as any other group I have worked with in my 27 years of teaching."

That statement of sincere belief in the youngsters with whom he works is supported by Mr. Deyoe's colleagues who nominated him for the Master Teacher Award.

"Mr. Deyoe has a unique personality quality that demonstrates his authentic respect, love and understanding of all of those with whom he associates," one writes. "As a classroom teacher, these attributes are particularly effective in dealing with all of his students."

Mr. Deyoe began his teaching career in Royster Junior High School in Chanute after receiving a bachelor's degree from Fort Hays Kansas State College. He had earlier attended Pratt Junior College. He has since continued his education by studying at the University of Kansas, Dodge City Community College, the University of Tulsa, Laverne College in California and at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City.

In 1953 Mr. Deyoe joined the faculty at Dodge City Junior High School and has taught there since that time. A native of Comanche County, Kansas, he attended rural elementary schools and was graduated with the class of 1940 from Wilmore High School. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.

Mr. Deyoe works with high school students by judging Kansas High School Activities Association debate and forensic contests at district and state levels. He has been judging for more than 20 years.

His interest in youth does not stop with the classroom. For years he has sponsored many after-school activities, coached, taught Sunday School classes, and was the leader of an effort to establish a youth center in Dodge City.

Another colleague says "he serves with any group that will further the improvement of the community, cooperation among ethnic groups, and specifically help for his principal interest, the youth of our nation."

Joan Hanna

Kindergarten Teacher

Whittier Elementary School

USD 465 Whittier

Master Teacher Joan Hanna is kindergarten teacher at Whittier Elementary School in Winfield. Prior to joining the faculty at Whittier, she worked at Lincoln Elementary School and Roosevelt Elementary School both in Hays.

She received her B.S.E. in Elementary Education in 1961 , and her M.S. in 1971 both from Fort Hays Kansas State College. Mrs. Hanna has been on the Fort Hays Alumni Board for three years and has been named Outstanding Alumna there.

"It is important for me to create a learning environment," Mrs. Hanna has said, "where the child is stimulated to learn useful and needed knowledge basic to academic learning, social responsibilities, and personal pride.

"Teachers must accept each child as unique, individual, and it is vitally important to me that each child feel good about himself every day to develop a positive self-image.

"I am proud of the teaching profession, and I love being a kindergarten teacher." Mrs. Hanna is active in a variety of activities, including Kansas National Education Association, Snyder Research Auxiliary, Winfield Community Theatre, Winfield Arts Council, and Elementary/Kindergarten Nursery Educators. She is also a member of and active in the Presbyterian Church.

"Joan is a truly professional teacher and a beautiful person," one wrote. "Perhaps one of her greatest attributes is her ability to tune-in to children's feelings and make them feel secure and good about themselves. In my 21 years in teaching and the educational business, Joan Hanna would have to be among the very top professional teachers I have known."

Mrs. Hanna, her husband Gary, and their children, Mark and Julie, enjoy traveling whenever possible. Mrs. Hanna also reads and makes games to use in her classroom.

"We feel that she goes beyond the usual curriculum and uses much imagination in providing the children with a wide range of learning experiences and guided discoveries," wrote one parent. "Her creative teaching sets a firm educational basis for the young child who is just entering school. Because of her talents and her exemplary performance, we think she deserves special honors."

Shirley Longfellow

Business Instructor

Butler County Community College

Shirley Longfellow, a Coleman, Oklahoma native, is Business Instructor at Butler County Community College in El Dorado. Before going to Butler County Community College in 1968, she worked at Dodge City Community College, Calvin High School in Oklahoma, and Southeast Oklahoma State University in Durant.

She received her Associate in Science degree from Murray State Junior College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma in 1960; her S.S. in Education in 1962 and her Master of Teaching degree in 1967 both from Southeastern Oklahoma State.

In addition, she has studied at the University of Oklahoma, Fort Hays Kansas State College, University of North Dakota, Emporia State, Pittsburg Kansas State College, and Birkbeck College of the University of London in England.

"My best recollections of Mrs. Longfellow and her classes were that she was always perfectly groomed," one former student wrote, "always smiling, which, I might add, help make those 7 a.m. classes a bit more tolerable.

Listed in the 1977 edition of "The World Who's Who of Women in Education," Mrs. Longfellow is also a member of the Kansas National Education Association, National Business Education Association, National Faculty Association of Community and Junior Colleges, and the Butler County Community College Education Association.

Besides sewing and growing plants, Mrs. Longfellow and her husband David enjoy traveling. They have visited more than 40 states plus Canada, England, France, and Switzerland.

In making the nomination, the selection committee wrote: "Shirley's 'secret formula for success' is really no secret. She simply tackles each job as it appears and completes it, clearing her desk for the next challenge. Her approach to life and teaching is positive. Because of this, her students respond by working up to their full capacity, and they are surprised and pleased to discover in themselves what they find in her - the ability to do more than they or anyone else thought possible."

Martha McReynolds

Second Grade Teacher

Burlington Elementary School

USD 244 Burlington

Martha McReynolds, second grade teacher at Burlington Elementary School since 1961, received her B.S. from the Oklahoma College for Women in 1949 and her M.S. in Elementary Education in 1964 from Emporia State.

Teaching, gardening in the summer, writing poetry and oil painting are among Mrs. McReynolds' first loves. And then there's the farm where she lives with her husband Roy and two children. Frequently the farm is the subject of her poetry and paintings.

"The out-of-doors out on the farm, is a great place to be," says one stanza of her poetry. " It's full of all kinds of beauty, for everyone to see."

Prior to joining the Burlington faculty, Mrs. McReynolds taught at Gridley High School 1950-1956. There are many people that are glad this Amber, Oklahoma native moved to Burlington.

"Martha McReynolds is a delightful woman to be with," one wrote. "Not only is Martha an excellent and hard working teacher, but she also has a sense of humor that cannot be topped."

A family letter about her read: "Martha McReynolds was the second grade teacher for three of our four children. I believe she exemplifies a professional teacher, truly interested in children. Mrs. McReynolds provided encouragement to our children and made learning a joy for them. She is well-liked and respected by them."

Mrs. McReynolds is active in the National Education Association, Kansas National Education Association, and Burlington Unified Teachers Association. She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, currently serving as First Vice-President and Program Chairperson.

An active member of the United Methodist Church, she has been Children's Coordinator, Chairperson of the Education Committee, Church School Teacher, and Director of the Summer Youth Camp.

"I can say that she 'turns students on'," said one colleague, "they learn to love learning, and become better people in the process. She truly is the champion of the little guy/girl who is having trouble-she will work the amount of time it takes to make it better for that child."

Gene Russell


USD 499 Galena

Gene Russell, Superintendent of Schools at Galena, Kansas, worked his way up to that position by serving in a number of capacities and, along the way, earned the admiration of his co-workers and students.

"I feel Mr. Russell has achieved the respect and admiration of both students and parents," one writes, "because of his personal integrity of character and continuing interest in the community and its school system. In our small town, the school exerts a great deal of influence, and I feel Mr. Russell has placed a high priority on the worth of each individual he has touched either as an instructor or an administrator."

Mr. Russell is well known in Galena since he has spent his entire professional career in the schools there. He joined the Galena school system in 1952 as 6th grade instructor in the Spring Grove School.

He had just received his Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Kansas State College of Pittsburg. Prior to that he had studied at Oregon State University and at Joplin Junior College in Missouri. He continued to study at Pittsburg and, in 1956, received a Master's Degree in Education.

From 1954, until he was named Superintendent of Schools at Galena in 1973, Mr. Russell served as a junior high school instructor and coach at Liberty School, as a counselor and social science instructor at the high school, as elementary principal, as high school principal and as Assistant Superintendent of Schools and Clerk of the Board of Education.

Mr. Russell served with the U.S. Army during World War II and saw action in the South Pacific. He is today active in many professional and community organizations, church work and other positive activities within the community and the area.

One individual, writing in support of Mr. Russell's nomination, summed up the local administrator's career this way:

"In my opinion, Mr. Russell is a local boy who has made good in every sense of the word and I do not feel that it would be possible for me to recommend him too highly for this award for which he has been nominated."

Dan Tewell

English and Speech Teacher

Pittsburg High School

USD 250 Pittsburg

Dan Tewell, a St. Louis, Missouri native, is English and Speech teacher at Pittsburg High School. In addition to his teaching duties, he is drama coach, golf coach, and debate coach.

Following his graduation from Pittsburg High in 1930, Mr. Tewell attended Pittsburg Kansas State College where he received his B.S. in 1934 and his M.S. in 1935. Since then, he has done additional study at the University of Oklahoma, University of Wisconsin, Emporia State, University of Kentucky, and Pittsburg Kansas State College.

His first teaching job was in Broken Bow, Oklahoma 1935-37, but he was soon back in Pittsburg as a teacher at Roosevelt Junior High. In 1939, he began his first stint at Pittsburg High, leaving in 1942 to join the Army. In the service until 1946, he became a Captain in the infantry receiving two battle stars, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Generals Commendation Medal.

It was back to Pittsburg High in 1946, where he has taught since. He and his wife Audrey have two daughters, Pam and Cindy.

"I have known Mr. Tewell for five years," one wrote, "and have worked with him at Pittsburg High School. He is an enthusiastic teacher and is dedicated to the ideals of the teaching profession. He has attained respect far above the average teacher and has brought credit and distinction through his work to our Pittsburg High School."

Mr. Tewell is active in several professional and civic organizations, including the Pittsburg Education Association, Kansas National Education Association, United Presbyterian Church, National Education Association, National Forensic League, Kansas Speech Association, Kansas Association of Teachers of English, Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the American Legion-Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In May 1972, Mr. Tewell thought his teaching career had come to an end when he had one of his vocal cords removed. "Don't worry," his wife Audrey told him, "you like teaching so much that you'll learn to talk with one vocal cord." And he did.

"He didn't quit," remembers a colleague, "and he overcame this handicap to continue to be an outstanding and effective teacher."