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1989 Award Winners

1989 Kansas Master Teachers

* Special Award, ** Black Endowed Chair Recipient

Tanya Channell, USD 489 Hays

Max Ferguson, USD 254 Barber County North

Lois Schweitzer Gray, USD 382 Pratt

Carolyn Koch, USD 253 Emporia

Ada Ligia R. Paquette, USD 475 Geary County

Mary Anne Trickle, USD 305 Salina

Gary D. Wilkerson, USD 260 Derby


1989 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.

Tanya Channell

Washington Elementary School
USD 489 Hays

Tanya Channell's first "job" in education was not in teaching; instead she worked as a school secretary and substituted in classrooms while her husband was the "official teacher." Channell's actual teaching career began in 1974 at Roosevelt School in Hays. Channell became the principal at Washington Elementary School in 1981.

A native of Belleville, Channell received all of her degrees from Fort Hays State. They include a B.S. degree in elementary education (1971), an M.S. degree in counseling (1973) , and an Ed.S. degree in administration (1981).

In 1980, the Hays National Education Association (NEA) named Channell its Outstanding Young Educator. A regular summer school teacher, Channell became the district's director of summer school last year when she designed a new format for the summer school program. She also has been a leader in developing human sexuality and AIDS materials as well as a health curriculum for USD #489.

Channell led Washington School's efforts at becoming one of the recipients of the 1988 Drug Free School Awards in Kansas ; her school also received an outstanding energy conservation project award. In the community, Channel is a Salvation Army volunteer, member of the board of the Hadley Center for Women, a Sunday and bible school teacher, an alumni chapter advisor for the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, and a member of Parents and Children Together.

"I always take a strong personal interest in my students," said Channell. "I make it a point to get to know students' families and I encourage parents to participate whenever possible in school classrooms and activities. It is important that my students know I care about them and I celebrate their accomplishments and successes both in and out of the school setting."

Max Ferguson

Seventh and Eighth Grade
Medicine Lodge Intermediate School
USD 254 Barber County North

Max Ferguson has spent his 13-year coaching and teaching career in the seventh and eighth grades at Medicine Lodge Intermediate School.

A native of Newton, Ferguson received his B.S.E. degree in 1974 from Southwestern College (Winfield), and his M.S. degree in elementary education in 1982 from Wichita State University.

Ferguson, who comes from a family of educators, teaches social studies, reading, and physical education, and he coaches junior high football , track and freshman boys basketball. Recent assignments have included teaching a drug prevention program and human sexuality and AIDS education.

Ferguson is active in numerous professional associations, including the local and state National Education Associations. He also belongs to the Kansas Association for Middle Level Education, Parent Teacher Association, Boy Scouts, Kansas Coaches Association, and United Methodist Church. He has been active in the Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Treaty Pageant.

Ferguson served as president of the Gyp Hills NEA, chaired the district's AIDS and Human Sexuality Committee, and was a founder of the Barber County Patrons Advocacy League. He also was on the state evaluation team serving Goddard Public Schools.

"As a teacher, I strive to fulfill an obligation to challenge young people to reach toward goals in all areas - intellectual, social, physical, and emotional," said Ferguson. "By trying to create a positive and enjoyable environment in the classroom and using a variety of teaching methods, I am able to provide an atmosphere that encourages satisfaction and accomplishment for all students. I look forward to my future in education, knowing that next year will be my best year yet."

Lois Schweitzer Gray

Third Grade Teacher
Southwest School
USD 382 Pratt

Lois Gray uses a unique approach in her classroom to encourage students to communicate and share their problems in a non-threatening way. She has a full-sized mailbox beside her desk in which students can place notes to her about concerns they might not wish to talk about out loud.

Gray's first teaching assignment was 30 years ago in the Kincaid Elementary School. Since then, she has taught elementary school in Kismet, Plains, and Pratt, in virtually every grade from K-8. She currently teaches third grade at Southwest School.

A native of Princeton, Gray received a provisional certificate in 1958 from Emporia State to begin her teaching career. She attended ESU for several years before finally earning her B.S.E. degree in 1972. She received her M.S. degree from Wichita State (1982).

Gray's community leadership in Pratt has included membership in Beta Sigma Phi, where she was president and Valentine Queen, and involvement in local and state NEA associations, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and Delta Kappa Gamma. She has been in the lay ministry program and on the administrative board of the United Methodist Church, has been a member of the local Faculty Dames, and is an annual supporter of the Miss Kansas Pageant.

"I must possess concern for each child to the extent that it means identifying his unique qualities, being responsive to his feelings and aspirations, and finding a place in the curriculum where the child can be successful, comfortable, and secure," said Gray. "I must be alert to students' constantly changing needs and provide innovative, flexible, strategies that render encouragement and positive self-esteem. My classroom must be an inviting place where there is excitement, a positive, caring atmosphere, and high expectations for learning."

Carolyn Koch

Reading and English Teacher
Emporia High School
USD 253 Emporia

As a way to "let down her hair," Carolyn Koch crashes into other people in demolition derbies. She says that experience of "bashing" cars has helped her as a reading and English teacher.

Koch has been teaching in the Emporia area since 1971. From 1971-74, she was at Strong City High School; since 1974, she has taught reading at
Emporia High School. Koch, a native of Great Bend, received three education degrees from Emporia State University - her B.S.E. degree in 1971 , M.S. degree in 1977, and Ed.S. degree in 1981.

Koch is active in the local and state associations of the National Education Association, is a member of Phi Delta Kappa and Delta Kappa Gamma, and is active in the Kansas Reading Association and the International Reading Association.

In the community, Koch is active in the Great Plains Society, Emporia Aquatic Club and U.S . Swim, Boy Scouts, First Southern Baptist Emporia Church and Eastern Star (she was the Worthy Matron in 1988). Koch also has been Kansas' representative to the Olympic Workshop in swimming and she is an active referee for U.S. Swim and Missouri Valley Region. She and her husband also have been foster parents for children.

Koch, who is the high school's reading specialist, has researched the reading styles of secondary students, which is generally recognized as the first body of work in that area. Concerned her school was not addressing the needs of the "at risk" students, Koch supported a tutoring program taught by teachers.

Dan Lumley, director of secondary education for USD #253, wrote about Koch, "Carolyn may be 'the best secondary teacher I have known. She is a natural leader, is bright and articulate, and is recognized as a statewide authority in reading. Her students are highly motivated and enthusiastic."

Ada Ligia R. Paquette

Junction City High School
USD 475 Geary County

A native of Puerto Rico, Ada Ligia R. Paquette has been teaching since 1963. She began her career in Puerto Rico, teaching all subjects in grades 1-5 and also science and English in grades 7-8. When she came to Junction City in 1973, she taught fifth grade before moving to junior high to teach Spanish and world cultures.

After several years as a teacher, Paquette changed over to counseling this year because she says she wanted to reach a new goal. In her first year as a counselor at Junction City High School she already has initiated small discussion groups to address affective and social problems with students.

Paquette received her B.S. degree from Santa Maria Catholic University in 1970 and her M.S. degree from Kansas State University in 1981. She will receive a master's degree in counseling from K-State this May.

Professionally, Paquette is active in local and state NEA associations, Kansas Association for Counseling and Development, and Delta Kappa Gamma. She also is active in University Women, Republican Women's Club, Junction City Little Theatre, Kansas Foreign Language Association, St. Zavier Catholic Church, Kappa Kappa Iota, and the International Reading Association.

"As a person, I firmly believe in enhancing the student-teacher interaction by building a communication bond where an atmosphere of relaxation, openness and warmth is created," said Paquette. "As an educator, my primary goal is to raise my students' self-esteem so that they will become involved in all aspects of their education and will develop as individuals to their full potential."

Mary Anne Trickle

Clothing and Family Life
Salina South High School
USD 305 Salina

Mary Anne Trickle has achieved a first for the Kansas Master Teacher Program. She and her husband, Ken, are the first husband-wife team to both be honored as Kansas Master Teachers (Ken was a 1982 Master Teacher).

Trickle has spent her entire professional career of more than 26 years teaching in the Salina public schools; she began teaching at Salina Junior High and moved to Salina South High School in 1970 where she still teaches. In addition to chairing the human ecology department, Trickle teaches clothing and family life, is the peer-assisted learning facilitator, and sponsor of the pompon squad.

Trickle, a native of Hays, has received two degrees from Kansas State University - her B.S. in home economics education in 1963 and M.S. degree in secondary education administration in 1976.

Trickle has been active in the local and state NEA associations, including serving as the NEA-Salina president and delegate to four national assemblies. In addition, Salina Trickle is active in the state, district, and national American Home Economics Associations, including serving as district president, Phi Delta Kappa International, Omicron Nu Home Economics Honor Society, and the Kappa Kappa Iota Teachers' Society.

In the community, Trickle is active in the United Methodist Church, faculty wives, United Way, American Legion Auxiliary, K-State Alumni Association, AAUW, and the Saline County Republican Women.

"Teaching excellence requires total commitment," said Trickle. "The final measure of teaching greatness is if the educator is unselfishly dedicated to the cause of education, working in the classroom, on curriculum committees, and in professional organizations. Above all, the teacher must be a positive role model who believes that to educate youth is a magnificent endeavor worthy of maximum efforts."

Gary D. Wilkerson

Kindergarten Teacher
Tanglewood Elementary School
USD 260 Derby

A kindergarten teacher who dresses up like a chicken and teaches kids responsibility by ra1smg a class guinea pig, Gary D. Wilkerson says his most important goal as an educator is to develop a positive self concept in each child.

Wilkerson, a native of Manter, has been teaching since 1973, focusing on children in kindergarten-second grades. He taught in Oberlin for two years before moving to Derby in 1975; he has taught kindergarten at Tanglewood Elementary School since 1982.

Wilkerson received two degrees in elementary education - his B.S. degree in 197 3 from Fort Hays State and his M.S. degree in 1981 from Wichita State. He is working on his Ed.S. degree also at WSU.

Professionally, Wilkerson is active in local and state NEA and the Wichita and Kansas Reading Associations. He also belongs to the Kansas Association for the Education of Young Children and Parents and Teachers of Tanglewood. In the community, Wilkerson is a member of the United Methodist Church and the Community of St. Joseph Associate Program , and is a volunteer for the Derby Community Follies, area food banks, Westview Manor, Oaklawn Area Breakfast Program , and Botanic a - Wichita Gardens. In 1983, he was Derby's Teacher of the Year, was nominated for Kansas Teacher of The Year, and was named an Outstanding Young Man of America.

"In my classroom, I work hard to establish an enjoyable learning environment built around trust ," said Wilkerson. "I encourage children to develop 'I can' attitudes so they will experience success. Education doesn't just come from books - it's life. I want children to ask questions and find the answers on their own rather than having the information spoon-fed to them. When they meet defeat I want them to learn from it and thus ultimately become winners."