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1997 Award Winners

1997 Kansas Master Teachers

* Special Award, ** Black Endowed Chair Recipient

Lisa Artman Bietau, USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden

JoLene Rae Bloom, USD 442 Seneca

Patricia Gnau, USD 229 Blue Valley

Mike Harvey, USD 382 Pratt

Darla J. Mallein, USD 253 Emporia

Dr. Jack D. Skillett, Emporia State University

Renita Ubel, USD 290 Ottawa

Randall J. Warner, USD 233 Olathe


1997 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.

Lisa Artman Bietau

USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden

Because of the help of many mentors and professional growth opportunities, Bietau has explored the ideas of meeting individual needs, authentic learning, portfolio assessment, student-led conferences, and action research as a clinical instructor at Northview Elementary School.

Out of that project came "Expectations," a team of four teachers at the intermediate level who were interested in exploring the ideas of grouping children in better ways to meet diverse needs.

Bietau believes in working smarter because the demands on teachers allow for no spare time nor no added energy to work harder. These limits, she said, force an "organized abandonment" of ineffective practices, replacing them with new, more effective and efficient ideas.

The Detroit, Mich., native received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Northern Michigan University and a Master of Science degree in educational psychology from Wichita State University. She also has taken graduate courses from KSU.

Bietau has served as an assisting teacher /KSU clinical instructor at Northview Elementary School since 1995. Prior to that she served as a multi-aged intermediate teacher at Arnold Elementary School from 1993-95, a fourth-grade teacher at Arnold Elementary School from 1989-93, a gifted education consultant for Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 from 1987-89, a first-grade teacher at Ogden Elementary School from 1984-87, and a K-6 special education gifted resource teacher in Hutchinson from 1981-84.

Bietau was nominated for the Bob Shrack Excellence in Education Award in 1996 and was selected by ACT for an Achievement Level Setting Project for NAEP-Math Grade 4 and as an OERI "Connections in Systematic Educational Reform" leader. She was named to the KSU /National Science Foundation Master Teacher/USO 383 Leadership Cadre, and was a consulting editor for "Teaching and Change."

JoLene Rae Bloom

USD 442 Seneca

Bloom has few rules in her English classrooms at Nemaha Valley High School; those she does champion are focused on acceptance and/or tolerance of differences, building on potentials, adhering to rules, defining expectations, and knowing, understanding, and choosing consequences. For Bloom, each student, indeed, each person, has the ability to be a grapefruit. As Bloom sees it, "a grapefruit is a lemon that had an opportunity and took it."

A native of Clarinda, Ia., Bloom received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Wash burn University and a Master of Science degree in behaviors disorders from KSU. She has both undergraduate and graduate credits from the University of Kansas (KU) and graduate credits from ESU and Fort Hays State University.

Since 1984, Bloom has taught 7-12 English for NVHS and Nemaha Valley Junior High. Additionally, since 1978, she has served as the off-campus instructor and dual credit instructor in English and oral communications for Highland Community College. Bloom's previous work experience includes serving as an interrelated classroom instructor for EMH, LD, ED, English, careers, and study skills for the Marshall-Nemaha County Educational Services Cooperative from 1982-84; itinerant personal adjustment consultant in charge of identification and testing for the Marshall-Nemaha County Educational Services Cooperative 1980-82; 9-12 English teacher at NVHS from 1974-80, and a 10-12 English substitute at Highland Park High School in the spring of 1974.

Bloom received the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award, the Wanda Mae Vinson Scholarship, the Epperson-Peters Award, the Business and Professional Women's Young Professional Award, and State New Member Award. She was a nominee for Kansas Teacher of the Year and the Pittsburg State University Young Educator Award.

Patricia Gnau

USD 229 Blue Valley

Gnau sees a teacher and the education he or she represents as a tender willow - firmly rooted, yet able to bend. The connection of her educational philosophy to the environment is evident in all Gnau's activities as a second grade teacher at Morse Elementary School in Overland Park. She believes a sound classroom environment encourages children to be risk takers and dreamers and allows the world to be the classroom.

Because of her commitment to the preservation of the environment, she has dedicated herself to the Morse Earth Club, which gathers monthly after school to explore themes, which include birds, recycling, composting, backyard wildlife, and local habitats. Gnau's interest in natural science also is reflected in her service as chair of the Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site (OWLS), a program of the Kansas Department of Parks and Wildlife, and as a member of a task force that is exploring ways to turn a parcel of land into an outdoor laboratory. Already the group has secured funding for an outdoor amphitheatre seating of natural stone and a waterfall. The site will allow children to plant native prairie grasses and flowers and search for fossil-laden rocks. Space will be allocated so that each grade level will have its own personal garden bed.

A native of Chicago, Ill., she has taught second grade at Morse Elementary since 1991. Before that, she held positions at Indian Valley Elementary and Apache Elementary in Overland Park, and special education posts at Prairie Elementary and Shawanoe Elementary.

As a high school student, Gnau decided to pursue a teaching career in the field of special education after assisting handicapped children in swimming lessons one summer. Gnau's background in special education produces exceptional results in the regular classroom.

Gnau earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Science in Special Education from KU and has acquired 48 hours of post-graduate work at a variety of institutions.

Mike Harvey

USD 382 Pratt

Because Mike Harvey has experienced life through many colors, he believes life is like opening a colorbook and having the ability to use as many colors as you like. The fundamental colors he deems necessary to educate all learners include flexibility, strength, discipline, and community.

A quote from Marguerite Thom exemplifies Harvey's belief that students should seek color in their lives through the academics, arts, activities, and athletics. "The arts and athletics are like the salt and pepper of my life; without them my existence would be quite tasteless."

An art teacher at Pratt High School since 1977, Harvey and his students have been recognized for their work, and his students' art exhibits have been viewed across town at banks, the public library, and the board of education office. He instituted an annual student art exhibit, complete with entertainment from high school musicians and vocalists to make a complete cultural event.

"The numerous awards earned by his art students and trophies won by his athletes he trains is not just good luck, but a reflection on a teacher who takes time to understand every student and shows them how to take pride in themselves and to be the best they can be," said parent Don Krusemark.

As a tennis coach, Harvey has had teams participate at the state tennis tournament for the past 18 years. He also is a three-time nominee for the 4A Girls Tennis Coach of the Year. His 1995 men's team was the 4A state champion, the school's first ever championship in any sport.

Affectionately known as "Harv" to his students, he also has developed a student incentive program called Greenback Be the Best, which improves student academic performance, attendance, and behavior.

In the community, Harvey has been involved with the Miss Kansas Pageant since 1981, serving as chairman for housing, parade, state judges and was briefly the state field director. During the summer, Harvey manages the municipal pool.

A Wichita native, Harvey earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from ESU and a Master of Science in Supervision and Administration from Wichita State University.

Darla J. Mallein

USD 253 Emporia

With a flair for the dramatic, Darla Mallein enjoys the drama of performing on the educational stage. Her colleagues and students attest that her performances are worthy of an Academy Award.

Mallein brings the past to life and shows that history can be fun by breaking the stereotypical presentation of historical facts with the creations of her students as eighth-grade social studies teacher at Emporia Middle School.

Colonial Day, Immigrant Day, and Cowboy-Pioneer Day have inspired many a student to explore and portray roles that further expand their understanding of social studies and their world. Archaeological digs help students learn more about native Americans, mock debates teach the election process. Dry historical developments and political rhetoric come alive when students reenact historical events.

Mallein believes that if students happen to stare off, it is best for them to stare at something educational, so she fills the walls, ceilings, and windows with visuals. Many of those visuals were purchased on the summer trips Mallein takes with 30-40 students to historical towns like Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia.

Mallein has received 10 educational grants which have allowed her to practice what she preaches in bringing history to life. She also has published numerous articles in education journals, which she says "validates what I'm doing in the classroom" much like her classroom projects provide validation for her students who receive recognition for their efforts from their classmates.

An Emporia native, she earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Emporia State University. Before joining the Emporia Middle School staff in 1988, Mallein taught language arts at Emporia High School, language arts and yearbook at LeRoy High School, and seventh and eighth-grade language arts and social studies at Americus Grade School.

Mallein was selected the 1995 Outstanding Recent Graduate at ESU, and named both the Kansas and Emporia Jaycees Outstanding Young Educator for 1996.

Dr. Jack D. Skillett

Emporia State University

Renita Ubel

USD 290 Ottawa

Renita Ubel sees education for herself and her students as a journey of "conscious routes and unpredictable detours."

Her first memory of public education was as the only girl of four students in a one-room, eight-grade country school in southern Douglas County. Her pursuit of education continues as a doctoral candidate at KU, and she believes her desire to learn sets a positive example both for her first-grade students and her colleagues at Eugene Field Elementary School.

"A life of action and result" is how USD 290 Superintendent Harvey Ludwick describes Ubel.

"She is among the few people I know who has written short-term and long-term goals for herself, and reviews them regularly to see if she is on target. She has written a personal mission statement, and she keeps that in a place that requires her to view it," said Kathryn Brooks, fourth grade teacher at Eugene Field Elementary.

Like most elementary teachers, especially first grade teachers, Ubel did not have an extensive background in a discipline like social science, so her academic focus became research about teaching and learning in general and assessment issues in particular. She has studied authentic assessment extensively and freely shares that knowledge with others through workshops and informal mentoring.

Her willingness to lead brought many opportunities within the Ottawa school district. She served four years as chair of the District Improvement Team, has filled every officer position for the Ottawa Educational Association, and is a member of the Minutemen, a group of former teacher association presidents who meet monthly to discuss trends and concerns of teachers within the district. Her leadership extends to community involvement in such diverse groups as 4-H, community theater, and Friends of the Library.

A native of Lawrence, Ubel earned Bachelor of Science degrees in elementary education and home economics education and a Master of Science degree in elementary education from KSU.

In three decades of teaching, she has taught fifth grade at Garfield Elementary in Ottawa, sixth grade at Wamego Elementary, and home economics at Hiawatha High School and Fairview Elementary in Hiawatha.

Randall J. Warner

USD 233 Olathe

As Randall J. Warner sees it, the objective of teaching is enabling a child to get a Jong without the teacher.

According to Warner, seventh-and eighth-grade social studies teacher at Frontier Trail Junior High in Olathe, students also must be problem solvers and communicators. Additionally, students must be equipped to evaluate a situation, determine what technology might be applied to facilitate reaching a solution, and then utilize the technology to reach defined goals.

Carol Williamson, science coordinator for Olathe USO 233, said, "Step into the classroom Randy Warner shares with his students and you'll notice how welcome and engaged you are the minute you walk in the room. This stimulating, tidy learning 0nvironment is packed with things which cause those who enter to ask 'How does this work?' and 'What are those things?!' This level of engagement captures learners. Randy's masterful teaching methods and organizational strategies help students complete a learning cycle that values depth of understanding and the skills to apply knowledge," she said.

Warner helped organize the school's Year of Respect, during which Warner was instrumental in bringing in a variety of speakers who discussed topics ranging from homelessness to disabilities.

Warner also takes his students out of the classroom for hands-on experiences. Each fall, Warner's students catch, tag, and release Monarch butterflies, including more than 400 last fall, as a part of Project Monarch Watch.

A native of Concordia, Kan., Warner received both a Bachelor of Science degree in general psychology and a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education, with an emphasis in psychology, biology, and general science from KSU. He also has taken general recertification courses at Mankato State University, Mankato, Ottawa University, and Mid-America Nazarene College.

Since the fall of 1992, Warner has taught at Frontier Trail Junior High School in Olathe. From the fall of 1987 to the spring of 1992, he taught at Oregon Trail Junior High School in Olathe.

Warner received a nomination to Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. He was College of Education Student of the Year in 1986-87, received the 1987 College of Education Outstanding Student in Education Award, and was selected to give the graduating student response at the spring 1987 education commencement exercises, all at KSU.