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1996 Award Winners

1996 Kansas Master Teachers

* Special Award, ** Black Endowed Chair Recipient

Doyle D. Barnes, USD 383 Manhattan/Ogden

Margaret Coggins, USD 497 Lawrence

Catherine Ecroyd, USD 290 Ottawa

Jacquelyn Faye Feist, USD 443 Dodge City

Millie P. Moye, USD 305 Salina

Janice Reutter, USD 254 Medicine Lodge

Nancy Robohn, USD 253 Emporia


1996 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.

Doyle D. Barnes

USD 383 Manhattan/Ogden

In a one-room school, Doyle Barnes learned that school was a warm and safe place. He began to realize that a learning community needs to involve itself in the ever changing process of becoming a part of its future.

He has turned those lessons into a community of learners -- Ogden Elementary School. Before becoming Ogden's principal in 1988, Barnes served as principal at Roosevelt Elementary and Wilson Elementary in Manhattan and as a sixth-grade teacher at Irving Elementary in Wichita.

Ogden is a transient community of low ranking military personnel, where 70 percent of the families qualify for free and reduced lunches, and where people feel isolated in many ways. As a community and school leader, Barnes has addressed the needs of the small town and the military families that are moved often and rarely have a sense of belonging.

Mutual sharing and reciprocal learning have been enhanced through Barnes' goal to make the school completely community oriented, which has produced intergenerational exchanges such as the 60+ Club, Peer Mentoring, and Granny Tech Family Scrapbooks. Barnes has sought funding to add resources that serve the entire school and community, including a playground, weekly health clinic, all-day kindergarten, after school clubs, year-round feeding program, Title I, Head Start, and Even Start, a nationally recognized family literacy program.

Barnes earned both bachelor's and master's degrees at Wichita State University. His honors include the 1994 National Family Literacy Project Award, the 1992 Kansas Association of School Librarians Distinguished Service Award, and recognition in the 1995 NCREL Parent Involvement 101: A Guide for Rural Education Recognition and the 1996 Charles D. Mott Foundation's Community Schools Across America. He also is a member of the William Allen White Book Award Selection Committee.

Margaret Coggins

USD 497 Lawrence

According to Margaret "Maggie" Coggins, the library is no longer a location, but an experience. A library media specialist at Kennedy Elementary since 1986, Coggins views the library as the heart of the school and has spearheaded the introduction of the integrated library program in the district.

"The library is no longer viewed as a separate entity from the rest of the curriculum, but a vital integrated part. Maggie has become our buildings' link that holds us all together," said colleague Carolyn Johnson.

The library and the library media specialist change their look, depending on the units being taught by classroom teachers. The media center has been transformed into a rain forest, a castle, a rodeo, Renaissance festival, or outer space. Coggins has been seen in costumes ranging from Goldilocks, and Clifford the big red dog to a knight and a pink dragon.

Coggins is sensitive to the plight of her students, most of whom come from disadvantaged homes. She believes in giving them the best six hours they get in a day by providing puzzles, paper dolls, live plants and flowers, sofas, comic books, puppets, and adult reading partners. Once a month family reading nights and schoolwide potlucks attempt to bring parents and students together.

Her interest in bringing people together extends to the Lawrence community, where she helped form the Oread Neighborhood Association in 1976 to create a community of safety and friendship in a neighborhood where 60 percent of all crimes in the city once occurred. She is active in the Adventures in Imagination Committee, a district business-education partnership that enhances the language experiences of children.

Coggins has held teaching positions at Deerfield School in Lawrence and in the San Francisco, Calif., school district. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, and a master's degree and library certification from the University of Kansas.

Catherine Ecroyd

USD 290 Ottawa

Catherine "Katie" Ecroyd speaks her mind, and she believes in helping students do the same.

Ecroyd has spent 21 years serving USO 290, first at Ottawa Middle School and for the past 15 years as an English teacher at Ottawa High School. In that time, she has spoken frequently on education issues whether as Ottawa National Education Association president, American Association of University Women representative, or the author of letters to the editor of the local newspaper.

"Katie is a thinker who can see the ramifications of an issue and who can eloquently express her thinking to any group whether it be a curriculum committee or the local board of education," said Carol McClaran, president of the Ottawa NEA.

Former student Anne Porter said Ecroyd's classroom was not a place where simply regurgitating information was acceptable.

"As a student, she required me to think, research, reason, and form my own opinions which, in my opinion, is what great teachers do," she said.

Ecroyd's students are asked to learn from sources and people beyond the classroom walls. She strives to help stud en ts see the relevance in their learning, to make connections between what happens in the classroom and what happens in the real world.

"Because students have different learning styles, I vary my approach; because students have different interests, I allow choice," Ecroyd said.

Her innovations focus on alternative assessment measures that allow for a variety of learning styles and student ownership. Her lesson plans are designed to challenge the brighter student and yet not overly frustrate the handicapped students.

Ecroyd earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Kansas. In 1991, she was named the Outstanding Branch Member by the Ottawa American Association of University Women.

Jacquelyn Faye Feist

USD 443 Dodge City

Jacquelyn "Jacque" Feist's classroom is a clearing house for community service.

The social studies chair at Dodge City High School since 1988, Feist is the driving force behind USO 443's nationally recognized K-12 community service program, which received the first Kansas Outstanding School Based Serve America Award in 1993. Last year, a Dodge City student received a national award from the Points of Light Foundation for outstanding community service participation.

Feist and her department helped create a 20-community-service-hour graduation requirement for high school students. Feist serves as a role model for her students, working side by side with them on numerous community projects.

Her American Government class built Kliessen Hills Park as a class project. They cleared the ground, planted the grass, found ways to have equipment donated, drew up the blue prints, and worked with the city council to give something back to the community. This year's class has volunteered to build a gazebo in the same park.

Feist's energetic work establishing and continuing Dodge City High School's community service program has made her a consulting expert for many beginning programs. Her efforts have received statewide attention as she was appointed by Gov . Joan Finney and reappointed by Gov. Bill Graves to the Kansas Commission on National and Community Service.

She serves as the social studies department head although she is that department's youngest teacher. Feist also coaches basketball, track, and softball, and sponsors the senior class council.

Her close association with seniors allows her to instill some values and patterns that she hopes will last a lifetime. Feist earned an associate degree from Barton County Community College, a bachelor's degree from Kansas State University, and a master's degree from Fort Hays State University.

Millie P. Moye

USD 305 Salina

Millie Moye's first class consisted of dolls and a younger brother in her hometown of Alberta, Alabama. One of 14 siblings, Moye earned her way through college and began her career in a segregated school in Prairie, Ala.

Her upbringing in the segregated south and her international teaching experiences have molded her view of the world and her teaching style.

Moye has taught in the Salina school district for the past 18 years, 16 of those as a fifth-grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary. She also has held teaching assignments in Alabama, Panama, and Japan

In 1971, Salina offered her the first opportunity to teach in an integrated school as director of the Black Cultural Center for the district, where Moye says, "they knew I appreciated and understood the real-life situations of being poor and disadvantaged."

During her experiences in Department of Defense schools in Japan and Panama, she witnessed children from around the world getting closer, and the world becoming smaller.

"(Students) must understand that the history of the United States is the story of people from diverse backgrounds coming together to make a democratic nation if they are to become good citizens of their nation and of the world," she said.

Moye heard and retained many African proverbs from her parents as a child, but one thing her mother said reflects Moye's relationship with her students, 'When I look at you, you are like a mirror to me."

Through grants, Moye developed a hands-on science learning lab for fourth through sixth grades. Her annual science fair has become a source of much pride for the school and the neighborhood. Her current project is an African-American curriculum to use with her students.

Among Moye's honors are the 1995 NAACP Volunteer Award (Education Chairperson), the 1992 Head Start Volunteer Award, the 1990 University of Kansas Black Leadership Award, the 1980 Department of Defense Teacher of the Year Award, and the 1979 Ebony Award from the U.S. Army for Volunteer Summer Instruction for Dependent Children.

She earned a bachelor's degree at Daniel Payne College, a master's degree at Kansas State University, and has completed post graduate work at Michigan State University, Brigham Young University, and Panama Canal College.

Janice Reutter

USD 254 Medicine Lodge

Janice Reutter's educational journey began in a one-room school in Stafford County, Kansas, complete with outdoor toilets, and a water bucket with one dipper. That lifelong learning trip continues in her first-grade classroom at Medicine Lodge Primary School.

Before moving to Medicine Lodge in 1983, frequent military transfers provided opportunities for her to teach on military bases and in parochial schools in Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, Hawaii, and California. Each new location provided her with insight into different grade levels and helped her gain new teaching methods, but also provided new challenges.

"This resulted in professional growth and I learned to adjust to a 30-40 percent turnover in students each year at the military bases. Parochial schools instilled respect for others and their beliefs," Reutter said.

Ruetter began family math nights in 1992, and pioneered the first district math camp in 1994 to show second through sixth-graders how math is used in the community.

She believes that field trips and speakers help pupils gain experience of various careers, learn the importance of academic skills, and vicariously see the life of other cultures through presentations, such as those from foreign exchange students Ruetter has housed over the years.

A trip to the local grain elevator teaches students the process of harvesting wheat, in addition to weighing, storing, and selling that product. Such efforts earned her a 1995 National Science Foundation grant, and recognition as a 1995 state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Math Teaching.

Even more than the field trips, what students remember most is the individualized attention they received from Ruetter and the increased self esteem and confidence that resulted.

Parent Debbie Lawrenz said the best thing about Janice Ruetter is that every student thinks they're the "best little first-grader in the class."

Ruetter earned a bachelor's degree from ESU, a master's degree from the University of Hawaii, and nursing certification from Des Moines Area Community College.

Nancy Robohn

USD 253 Emporia

A visitor to Nancy Robohn's elementary music classroom at Logan Avenue Elementary School in Emporia might have trouble finding the piano. It must compete for space with computers, keyboards, CDs, and instruments.

She left the classroom for nine years to work as a music therapist. For five years, she also traveled as a professional performer, during which time she learned the value of diversity and again her self-discipline was tested as she performed in a variety of upscale supper clubs around the Midwest. Before joining the Logan Avenue staff in 1982, she taught at Lowther Middle School and as elementary music coordinator for the Emporia school district.

Nancy uses music as a springboard to launch her students into the study of language.

"Her life has been a series of performances eloquently carried out because of her self-discipline and ability to bridge diversity with the universally understood language of music," said Emporia High School teacher John Harclerode.

Robohn has developed innovative methods to introduce her students not only to music, but to the technological world as well. No longer is music class a 20-minute sit and sing session. She has written and implemented a technology infused music curriculum that uses Casio keyboards and Macintosh computers as part of an active music curriculum to bring music to the students' lives.

She developed a citywide chorus for fourth- and fifth-graders that uses music to encourage cross-cultural interactions.

Robohn's interest in quilting is appropriate considering the varied nature of her involvements and the way she threads them into her classroom. A kindergarten study of the letter "Q" and Robohn's quilting hobby made for a unique music class. She has helped to maintain the traditions of her Welsh heritage through music as president of St. David's Society of Kansas.

Robohn earned a bachelor's degree from the College of Emporia, and a master's degree from the University of Kansas. She was selected as a 1996 Kansas Teacher of the Year nominee.