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1985 Award Winners

1985 Kansas Master Teachers

* Special Award, ** Black Endowed Chair Recipient

Bob Anderson, USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden

Ken Carothers, USD 353 Wellington

Thomas Fowler, USD 253 Emporia

Charlotte McDonald, USD 229 Blue Valley

Lana Scrimsher Oleen, USD 323 Rock Creek

Barbara Shinkle, USD 382 Pratt

Sharon Willis, USD 418 McPherson


1985 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.

Bob Anderson

Marlatt Elementary School
USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden

Since 1971, Bob Anderson has been principal of Marlatt Elementary School in Manhattan. He was principal and sixth grade teacher at Eugene Field Elementary School in Manhattan from 1953-71.

Anderson, an Osage City native, was graduated from Osage City High School. He received his B.A. degree from the College of Emporia in 1950 and his M. S. degree in 1954 from Emporia State University.

In 1976 , Anderson was named Kansas Principal of the Year. He also won the Outstanding Service Award from the National Association of Elementary School Principals in 1978 and 1984.

Anderson is active in several professional organizations, including the National Education Association, the Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals, and Phi Delta Kappa. In 1982-83 , as president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Anderson made three trips to the White House, met with President Ronald Reagan about educational issues, appeared on ABC-TV's "Good Morning, America," and made speeches around the country on behalf of education.

In the community, Anderson is active in the Chamber of Commerce, First Presbyterian Church , and the Kansas State University Booster Club.

"My philosophy of education through the yea rs has been brief but constant," said Anderson. "Each child is entitled to a sound basic program of instruction which recognizes the unique needs and differences for each individual child. Children are entitled to a caring teacher who brings each child to a realization of self-worth and importance.

"Students need to know that learning is an ongoing process as they go through life. I want them to be aware of and sensitive to the arts. Education is not only designed to help people make a living, but it is equally important to help them know how to enjoy living."

Ken Carothers

Fourth and Fifth Grade Teacher
Kennedy Grade School
USD 353 Wellington

Ken Carothers has taught fourth and fifth grades at Kennedy Grade School in Wellington since 1980. From 1975-80, he taught third grade at Bickerdyke Grade School in Russell. He taught and coached for Gorham schools from 1971 -74.

A Larned native, Carothers was graduated from Kinsley High School. He received his B.S. degree from Central Bible College in 1969 and his M.A. degree from Fort Hays State University in 1971. From 1981-84, he took additional courses at Wichita State University.

During his career, Carothers has been active in the local chapters of the National Education Association. In Russell, he served as president, professional negotiations spokesperson, and state delegate. In Wellington, he has served as president, state delegate, a member of the salary commission, and a member of the constitution commission.

Carothers received a certificate for Wellington service from the South Central Kansas-National Education Association.

In the community, Carothers is a member of the Assembly of God Church, having provided leadership in a number of ways over the years. He is also active -in 4-H, having received a certificate of recognition for six years of service as a Kansas 4-H leader.

"I am convinced that teaching is one of the most important and demanding jobs known," Carothers said. "Each day we work with our most important resources - the minds and lives of our young people. These young people are the futures of our country. We must do our job well as we shape our students' futures and our own future through them.

"I believe that every student has the right to learn and that every teacher has the right to teach. I expect only one thing from students their best."

Thomas Fowler

Spanish Teacher
Emporia High School
USD 253 Emporia

Thomas Fowler has been a Spanish teacher and head of the foreign languages department at Emporia High School since 1970.

From 1968-70, he taught at Pratt Community College, and from 1966-68, he taught at both Pratt Community College and Pratt High School. From 1963-66, he taught at Peabody High School.

Fowler is an Emporia native, having graduated from Emporia High School. He received his B.S.E. degree in 1963 and his M.S. degree in 1966 from Emporia State University. He has also done post-graduate work at Emporia State.

Professionally, Fowler is active in the Kansas-National Education Association, the National Education Association, the Emporia-National Education Association, the Kansas Foreign Languages Association, and Phi Delta Kappa.

In the community, Fowler is active in the Westminster United Presbyterian Church , having served as a deacon, elder, and Sunday School superintendent. He is active in the Emporia Masonic Lodge # 12 and Miriam Chapter #14 Order of Eastorn Star, as well as the Lyon County 4-H Council and the Logan Avenue 4-H Club. Fowler has received two special a wards for his work with 4-H. Fowler is also a member of the Emporia Parent Teacher Association.

While other school districts have experienced a decline in enrollment in foreign languages, Emporia High School, under Fowler's leadership, has expanded its offerings because of student interest. Fowler's Spanish classes are always full.

"My goal," he said, "is not to turn students off in class. I want every student to feel comfortable. I tease them, I joke with them, and I listen to them. Everything is positive."

Charlotte McDonald

Fifth Grade Teacher
Morse Elementary School
USD 229 Blue Valley

Charlotte McDonald has been the fifth-grade teacher at Morse Elementary School in Olathe since 1980. Morse School is part of the Blue Valley School District. From 1977-80, she taught fifth grade at Stanley Elementary School, also part of the Blue Valley District.

A Wichita native, McDonald was graduated from Wichita Heights High School. She received her BS degree in 1977 and her MS degree in 1982 from the University of Kansas.

This year, McDonald was nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award, which is sponsored by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Learning Exchange, and the Kansas City Star. She was named to Outstanding Young Women of America in 1984. In 1983, she was nominated for the Morse Elementary School Master Teacher Award and she won an award from the Learning Exchange for a science lesson. In 1981, McDonald was a University of Kansas educator-in-residence Olathe.

McDonald is active in a number of professional organizations, including the Blue Valley Teachers Association, the Kansas-National Education Association , and the National Education Association.

She also holds memberships in the National Audubon Society, the Burroughs Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, the United Methodist Church, Phi Delta Kappa, the Olathe Running Club, and the Morse Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization.

"Seeing children elicit interest about learning is my daily goal ," said McDonald. "Motivating students by providing opportunities to solve problems and the setting to explore ways to learn is how I approach each lesson. When a child is able to discover for himself or herself, the child experiences a sense of ownership. This process of teaching helps me to achieve my overall goal and that is helping a child learn how to think and reason."

Lana Scrimsher Oleen

English and Speech/Drama Teacher
St. George High School
USD 323 Rock Creek

Lana Scrimsher Oleen is an English and speech/ drama teacher at St. George High School, where she has taught since 1978. She teaches general English for grades 10-12, honors English for grades 11-12, remedial English, and speech/drama.

Prior to joining the faculty of St. George High School, Oleen taught at Council Grove High School from 1972-74, at Dover High School in 1975-76 , and at Leroy High School in 1976-77.

A native of Kirksville, Mo., Oleen was graduated from Topeka West High School. She received her B.S.E. degree in 1972 and her M.S. degree in 1977 from Emporia State University.

Oleen is a member of several professional organizations, including the National Council for Teachers of English, the Kansas Association for Teachers of English, the Kansas Speech Communication Association, the National Education Association, the Kansas-National Education Association, and the West Pottawatomie Teachers Association. In the community, Oleen is active in the Peace Lutheran Church, the Riley County Crisis Center, the Manhattan Arts Council, the Friends of the Sunset Zoo, the· League of Women Voters, University for Man, and the Manhattan La Leche League.

Oleen is a 1985 nominee for the Administrator's Outstanding Educator award. In 1984, she was a finalist for a National Endowment for the Humanities award.

"Self-image is self-worth: what an opportunity I have to enhance young people's realization of themselves," said Oleen. "My teaching philosophy is to challenge my students' energies, to stimulate their minds in learning the basics and aesthetics of life, and to recognize their strengths in order to capitalize on positive self-image. Books provide order, but a teacher provides avenues; I strive to meet my philosophy because I regard it on a daily-challenge basis."

Barbara Shinkle

Kindergarten Teacher
Haskins Elementary School
USD 382 Pratt

Barbara Shinkle teaches kindergarten at Haskins Elementary School in Pratt. She has been at Haskins since 1972, having taught first grade in 1972-73 and kindergarten since 1973.

In 1971-72, she taught first grade at North Elementary School in Pratt, and in 1970-71, she taught for Handicapped Day Care in Pratt. From 1971-81, she was also a private tutor for math and reading, and from 1977-81, she was a part -time reading and math instructor for St. Mary of the Plains College.

An Independence native, Shinkle was graduated from Longton High School. She received her B.S. degree in 1971 and her M.S . degree in 1973 from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva . Shinkle has taken post-graduate work at Fort Hays State University, Pittsburg State University, Kansas State University, and the University of Kansas.

In 1984, Shinkle was named the Teacher of the Year for U.S.D. #382 in Pratt. In 1979, she received the Distinguished Woman Award from the Pratt Jaycees. She is serving as the 1984-85 president of the Pratt National Education Association.

Shinkle is active in several professional organizations, including the Kansas-National Education Association, the American Association of University Women, the Pratt Community Concert Association, the Modern Literature Book Club , and the Pratt Art Association.

In the community, Shinkle is active in the First Methodist Church, the Pratt Music Club , Grace Notes, Parents and Children Together, and Delta Kappa Gamma.

Shinkle's teaching philosophy is to help each student develop a positive self-worth. She helps the children learn to trust each other and to give and receive love.

Sharon Willis

Music Teacher
Lincoln Elementary School
USD 418 McPherson

Sharon Willis is the music teacher for Lincoln Elementary School in McPherson, a position she has held since 1977.

In addition to teaching at Lincoln Elementary School, Willis is the children's choir director for the First United Methodist Church and director of the McPherson Arts Council Community Children's Choir.

In 1974-75, she taught full-time at St. Joseph Elementary School in Hays and part-time at Barton County Community College.

A Lamed native, Willis was graduated from Macksville High School. She received her B.M.E. degree in 1973 and her M.M.E. degree in 1975 from Fort Hays State University.

Willis is a member of several professional organizations, including the National Education Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the Kansas Music Educators Association, and the American Choral Directors Association.

Willis is listed in Who's Who In American Colleges and Universities. She received a Commissioned Artist Print from the McPherson Arts Council in special recognition for her outstanding work for the council.

She also received a special recognition award from the McPherson Optimist Club for work with youth.

"I believe that music is an intellectual discipline as well as an art," said Willis. "As an intellectual discipline, it must be taught in a sequential academic fashion, much as other subjects in the curriculum. As an art, it must be taught with aesthetic experiences foremost in mind.

"My philosophy is to present music to every child according to his or her interests and abilities in order to further the child's personal, academic, cultural, and spiritual growth, thus helping the student become a more aesthetically responsive member of society."