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1987 Award Winners

1987 Kansas Master Teachers

* Special Award, ** Black Endowed Chair Recipient

Roger D. Brannan, USD 383 Manhattan

Jackie Engel, USD 418 McPherson

Dr. Nick Henry, Pittsburg State University

Dr. Beth Lynch, USD 305 Salina

Marie Peterson, USD 274 Oakley

Joyce Rucker, USD 382 Pratt

Dr. Sandra J. Terril, USD 307 Ell-Saline


1987 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.

Roger D. Brannan

Debate, Forensics, & Speech
Manhattan High School
USD 383 Manhattan

Roger Brannan has taught debate, forensics, and speech at Manhattan High School since 1970. He also has taught at Manhattan Junior High School, Kansas State University, and in Topeka.

A Manhattan native, Brannan received his B.A. degree in 1961 and his M.A. degree in 1969 from Kansas State University. In addition, he has taken courses at Emporia State University and the University of Kansas.

Brannan has received several awards for excellence in teaching. He was named a Four Diamond Coach by the National Forensic League in 1987 and he received Manhattan's Secondary Excellence in Teaching Award in 1982. He has twice received the distinguished service award from the National Forensic League and he was named the Outstanding High School Speech Teacher for 1973-74.Brannan was named the Jaycees Outstanding Young Educator in 1973.

Brannan is active in several professional organizations, including the Kansas Speech Communication Association, National Forensic League, Central States Speech Association, Speech Communication Association, American Forensic Association , and NEA-Manhattan, KNEA, and NEA. In the community, he is a member of the K-State Alumni Association, First Christian Church, and Manhattan Optimist Club.

"Early in my life, I began to sense the value of and stress of communication," said Brannan. "Nothing can cause as much anxiety as the act of communicating. Nothing can replace the satisfaction of having successfully communicated an idea. Nothing affects an image as much as the skill of communicating.

"Participation in debate, forensics, and speech has been a total learning experience for both the students and myself. I see great value in these events, because in the world of debate , forensics, and speech 'every day is discovery day.' "

Jackie Engel

English Teacher
McPherson High School
USD 418 McPherson

Jackie Engel has been teaching English and advising student publications at McPherson High School since 1972.

Engel retires this year after 21 years of teaching. In "retirement," she will teach journalism for two years at the University of Kansas and serve as executive secretary of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association. A McPherson native, Engel returned to college at the age of 41 and received her B.A. degree in 1965 from McPherson College. She received her M.S. degree in 1972 from the University of Kansas.

In 1979, Engel received the National Journalism Teacher of the Year award from the Newspaper Fund of Dow Jones. She received the Soroptimist Club International Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Kiwanis Club International Award for national recognition, both in 1980. In 1986, Engel received the Golden Galleon Award from Jostens Publishing and Printing, the McPherson College "Big Apple" award for distinguished teaching, McPherson and the Pioneer Award from the National Scholastic Press Association.

Engel is active in the National Scholastic Press, Columbia Scholastic Press , Kansas Scholastic Press, and the Journalism Education Associations. Her civic activities include First Church of Christ, Scientist and the Christian Science Society.

"I wake every day and thank God for letting me have another day to teach," said Engel. "For me it really is so simple - love what you do and love those for whom you do it. At times that must be tough love, a love that most students will not understand or appreciate at the time, but tough love that says, 'I care about you.'

"As teachers we have been in the answering game much too long. We have become dispensers of information to be stored away and fed back to us. Instead, we need to teach the student to think, to reason, to analyze. We need to inspire questioning.''

Dr. Nick Henry

Curriculum and Administration / Coordinator of Learning Disabilities
Pittsburg State University

Dr. Nick Henry has been a member of the faculty at Pittsburg State University since 1976. Currently, he is an associate professor in the department of curriculum and administration and coordinator of learning disabilities.

Before coming to Pittsburg State, Henry taught at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and St. John's Seminary in Kansas City. He also taught in Kansas City, Lawrence, and Topeka. A native of Baileyville, Henry received his B.A. degree in 1967 and his M.Ed. degree in 1973, both from Washburn University. He received his Ed.D. degree from the University of Kansas in 1978.

In 1982, the Pittsburg State student body selected Henry as the outstanding teacher in the School of Education. He was nominated for the student senate's outstanding faculty award for 1985-86 and for 1986-87.

Henry is chief negotiator for the PSU/ KNEA unit and past president of the Southeast Kansas Association for Children with Learning Disabilities and the Southeast Kansas Council for Exceptional Children. In the community, he is a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Church and St. Pius X Newman Center.

"Excellence in education is synonymous with developing students' abilities to think, create, and learn," said Henry. "Education is a shared responsibility. As such, there must be an integrated effort made by each of us in the education community. I have seen my own role as one committed to expanding teachers' sensitivity to the individual needs of every student, especially those who have been excluded from the full realization of their capabilities.

"It will be a great day when our society is as enthusiastic about an individual reaching his/ her intellectual and social potential as we are about an individual reaching his/ her athletic potential."

Dr. Beth Lynch

Social Science Teacher
Salina High School
USD 305 Salina

Dr. Beth Lynch has taught social science at Salina High School South since 1969. She became the girls' tennis coach in 1974 and the girls' swim team coach in 1975. Lynch also taught at Roosevelt-Lincoln Junior High in Salina.

A Salina native, Lynch received her B.A. degree in 1961 from Kansas Wesleyan University , her M.S. degree in 1970 from Kansas State University, and her Ph.D. degree in 1985 from the University of Kansas.

In 1964, Lynch received a NDEA grant for study in American history, which helped her begin work on her master's degree . In 1981, she received the Maud I. Gorham Scholarship from Delta Kappa Gamma and she was named the Colonial Daughters History Teacher for Kansas in 1980. Lynch was named the DAR History Teacher of Kansas in 1984.

Since 1975 , Lynch has served on the state department of education's Salina evaluation review committee of teacher education colleges. Lynch is a member of Kansas and National Councils for the Social Studies, the Kansas and National Associations of Education and Communication Technology, and the Association for Supervision and Development. In the community, Lynch is an elder and member of the board of the Christian Church and a member of the Salina bicentennial committee for the constitution.

"Leaming and living cannot be separated," said Lynch. "The opportunity for education must be open and available to all , and education needs to provide for the greatest possible development of each individual's potential. This is equally necessary for both the individual and human kind as a whole.

"Our goal is far from being attained, but to strive for less would be to diminish our limits for living."

Marie Peterson

First Grade Teacher
Oakley Elementary School
USD 274 Oakley

Marie Peterson is a first grade teacher at Oakley Elementary School. She has taught in Oakley's USD #274 since 1960, teaching kindergarten and grades one, two, and four.

A native of Colby, Peterson received her teaching certificate in 1946 and A.B. degree cum laude in 1961, both from Bethany College. She received her A.M. degree in 1967 from the University of Northern Colorado. Peterson has been a guest instructor at Fort Hays State University and has presented language arts workshops across the state. She was nominated for the NEA Award for Creative Leadership in Women's Rights and the High Plains Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Educator award.

Peterson is past president of the Oakley Education Association, a former member of the the board of the Kansas-NEA, and a life member of the NEA. She also belongs to the Council for Exceptional Children, Kansas Council for Children and Youth, National Council of Teachers of English, and International Reading Association. In Oakley, Peterson is immediate past president of the Logan County Day Care Association and secretary of the executive board of the Northwest Kansas Library Services.

"Every human being is of surpassing worth ," said Peterson. "When you begin with that premise, you have a way of thinking of the whole world. Never overestimate what people can do and never underestimate them either. Learning has to come from within the child. You can't pour knowledge into a child, so you have to provide the type of environment that will make students strive to be self-learners.

"You also have to develop courage and self-esteem in children so they realize that what they have to say counts in this world. You're building on a child's own acceptance of himself."

Joyce Rucker

Sixth-Eighth Grade Music Teacher
Liberty Middle School
USD 382 Pratt

Joyce Rucker's vocal music career in Kansas spans more than 30 years. Since 1979, she has taught music in grades six-eight at Liberty Middle School. She also has taught in Stafford, Wichita, Labette, WaKeeney, Trego County, and Athens, Ohio.

A Hutchinson native, Rucker received her B.M.E. degree in 1956 and her M.M.E. degree in 1985, both from Wichita State University. She also has taken courses at Fort Hays State and participated in numerous music workshops and choral reading sessions.

Rucker was named Teacher of the Year in 1987 by USD #382. Rucker has been recognized for outstanding leadership by the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Music Education Association. She was been a guest choral clinician and has judged high school and middle school choral groups in competition.

Rucker is active in the Kansas Music Education Association, Music Pratt Educators National Conference, and American Choral Directors Association. She is a past president and co-founder of the Salina Area Piano Teachers League, past president of the Wichita Piano Teachers League, and a former member of the national board of adjudicators of the National Guild of Piano Teachers.

"A student is a free, choosing creature ignited by a unique intellectual and emotional base; a human creature challenging teachers to mold and develop those potentials," said Rucker. "Until a student chooses to learn it does not matter how capable the teacher or how intellectual the material.

"As a teacher, I am the salesman of my educational product, encouraging the student to choose learning and the parent/ community to choose listening and participating. For I, the free, choosing teacher, love that challenge offered by the student."

Dr. Sandra J. Terril

Wilson Elementary School
USD 307 Ell-Saline

Dr. Sandra Terril is superintendent of schools and elementary principal at Ell-Saline USO #307. Terril also has been an administrator, counselor, and teacher in Towanda, Shawnee Mission, California, and Arizona.

A native of Princeton , N.J., Terril received her B.S. degree in 1966 from Kansas State University, her M.A. degree in 1976 from California State Polytechnic University, and her Ed.S. degree in 1982 from Wichita State University. In 1985, she received her Ph.D. degree from Kansas State University.

In 1986, Terril was named "Executive Educator of the Month" and to the "Executive Educator 100." In 1984, she was nominated for Leadership Kansas and for the American Education Research Association doctoral student seminar. Since 1981, Terril has served as chairperson of the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force.

Terril is a member of the American Association of School Administrators small school committee, vice president of the Central Kansas Coop in Education Board of Control, and secretary-treasurer of Schools for Quality Education. She was president of KanSPRA in 1984 and was on the accreditation advisory council to the Kansas State Department of Education in 1986.

"Whether we are teachers administrators, school board members, male or female, we are all educators ," said Terril. "We must accept the responsibility to perform our jobs with a high degree of excellence in the only business of its kind - the only business concerned with learning.

"If we are to be successful, we must remember that our business is built on people, enthusiasm, energy, idealism, respect for human dignity, a willingness to be accessible and, with acceptance of the failings of ourselves and others , the firm belief that what we do is important."