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2000 Award Winners

2000 Kansas Master Teachers

* Special Award, ** Black Endowed Chair Recipient


Kay Parks Bushman Haas, USD 290 Ottawa

**Tracy Jo Kerth, USD 229 Overland Park

**Michael R. Schainost, USD 367 Osawatomie

Roberta "Robbie" Thomas, USD 385 Andover

Robert James Tindel, USD 250 Pittsburg

Deborah B. Wertin, USD 229 Overland Park

Goldie Wood, USD 443 Dodge City


2000 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.

Kay Parks Bushman Haas

Language Arts
USD 290 Ottawa

Haas is known to her language arts students at Ottawa High School as a high-energy instructor who through her excitement and enthu­siasm challenges them to excel and serves as an inspiration to them.

"We students knew that we would be doing something in Mrs. Haas' class every day1 Her love for the classroom showed through her high-energy style of teaching," said Sheri (Davis) Harshaw, former stu­dent. "Whatever we were learning - grammar, reading, or writing - she was excited about it. This excitement became something we came to expect. I cannot remember a day when she showed that she was not happy to be in the class­room. Perhaps it was this enthusi­asm that solidified my decision to become an English teacher."

Haas realizes the important role a teacher plays in the lives of her students. Of her teaching philoso­phy, she wrote: "Education is the foundation upon which everything else in our society depends. Consequently, teachers have one of the greatest responsibilities, for it is through education that we produce informed, productive, and compas­sionate citizens. Every single day teachers must meet the individual needs of each of their students ..... An effective teacher is part of a decision-making team, updating and sequencing curricu­lum standards to create an effective educational program for all students."

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Haas earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Arts degree, both from the University of Kansas. She also has done post-graduate work at the University of Kansas, Ottawa University, Kansas State University, and Neosho County Community College.

**Tracy Jo Kerth

Fourth Grade
USD 229 Overland Park

Students in Kerth's fourth-grade class at Morse Elementary School see Kerth as the leader of their team. Not only is she their teacher, but she also is their role model, coach, and cheerleader. She works with her students to help them be the best they can be.

"Tracy has touched my heart this year with her willing desire to include a severely multiply handi­capped child into her classroom," said Jodi Dinkins, a learning spe­cialist at the school. "She models humor, acceptance and creativity in finding ways for him to be involved with the other children in learning activities in her class­room."

"Mrs. Kerth was and is an excel­lent teacher. She is a strong role model that all students can admire and trust as a friend," said former student Ashley DeFries.

Kerth believes that making a dif­ference in students lives is the best reward she can receive as a teacher. Of her teaching philosophy, she wrote: "A teacher must enjoy work­ing with children of all abilities and backgrounds, effectively communi­cate ideas and knowledge, and model enthusiasm for lifelong learning ..... With all the responsibilities a teacher has, the rewards are worth all the work and worries that go along with the profession. Watching a child excel to his/her potential while building a positive self-concept is my greatest reward as a teacher. The fact that l have made a difference in the lives of many children makes me proud."

A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Kerth earned both a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and a Master of Science degree from Emporia State University.

**Michael R. Schainost

USD 367 Osawatomie

Students in Schainost's science classes at Osawatomie High School know each class will be an adven­ture. Schainost does his best to make learning science interesting to students, even those who do not particularly enjoy science subjects.

"What was Mike Schainost like in class? Well everyday was an adventure," said former student Myron Chase. "You never knew which science experiment would come next. He was always enthusi­astic, made everyone want to learn, and turned a boring class into something that we all looked for­ward to. Thanks to him college physics was nothing but a review."

"Mike exemplifies what a teacher in the new century should be ..... He truly believes that every student can learn and ensures they do so through his teaching strate­gies/' said Doug Chisam, principal of Osawatomie Hlgh School.

While Schainost inspires his stu­dents to excel in the sciences, his students, in turn, inspire him. Of his teaching philosophy, he wrote: "Students truly inspire me to be my very best, and I know that the only way that I can adequately thank them is to love them and to give them my best. As teachers, we have to be constantly learning and open to change. We have to instill in our students the love of learning that we have ..... Creating lifelong learners has been a goal of education for a very long time. Now with appro­priate questioning, extensive stu­dent decision-making, and student development activities, we are doing much to give our students the skills they need to become learners for life."

A native of Garnett, Schainost earned an Associate of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Science degree, and a Master of Science degree, all from Kansas State University.

Roberta "Robbie" Thomas

K-5 Extended Learning
USD 385 Andover

Thomas is known to the students in her gifted education/extended learning classes as a teacher who will go above and beyond her teaching responsibilities to help.

"Robbie is always happy and extends that contagious lust for life to those around her," said Marilyn D. Herr, principal of Andover Intermediate School. "She is friendly to everyone and demonstrates the morals and values of an excellent role model for students and fellow teachers."

"She even takes her personal time to see her students (past and present) participate in their varied activities," said Aubrey Bamford, a sixth-grader at Andover Middle School. "Mrs. Thomas teaches with love, which is above and beyond."

Thomas believes that sharing in her classroom is a two-way street. Of her teaching philosophy, she wrote: "1 believe that each child enters my classroom with special 'gifts' to share with me. These are not wrapped packages in their hands, but the special needs which I should acknowledge and nurture as I work with them. I feel it is my responsibility as an educator to give them the gifts of the maximum achievement of basic skills and concepts, learning activities at the appropriate level and pace, experiences in creative thinking and problem solving, stimulating imagination, developing independence, and of exposure to a variety of fields of study."

A native of Wichita, Thomas earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Emporia State University and a Master of Education degree from Wichita State University. She also did gifted education course work at Kansas State University and took miscellaneous graduate classes at Friends University and Baker University.

Robert James Tindel

Debate/Forensics and Speech
USD 250 Pittsburg

To his speech, debate, and forensics students at Pittsburg High School, Tindel is known as an instructor who teaches by example.

"The success of his students under his tutelage is obvious. He not only teaches a craft - he teaches, by his high standards and expectations, leadership, responsibility, and self-awareness," said Cathy AuBuchon, a teacher at Pittsburg High Schoo!. "The highest compliment I can give Bob is to hope that my grandchildren have such a teacher as Bob when they reach high school."

"He has a very enthusiastic approach and cannot help but impact the students whose lives he touches everyday. He demands excellence from his students and to succeed in his class you must strive to achieve this excellence ..... Because, above all else, Mr. Tindel is a teacher that loves to teach and loves to touch the lives of our youth in a positive manner," said David and Maureen Huerter, parents of current and former students.

Of his teaching philosophy, Tindel wrote, "Educating a young person is not difficult to accomplish or to understand if a teacher approaches the process with understanding, love and compassion. Educating a child is never complete; it must be viewed as a 'work in progress.' During this process, children must be showered with love and compassion. At the same time one must evoke in students the following three principles: a desire to learn, a desire to perform to the best of their ability and a desire for respect in not only themselves, but also for others."

A native of Pittsburg, Tindel earned a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Arts degree, and a Secondary Administration Certificate, all from Pittsburg State University.

Deborah B. Wertin

Third Grade Team
USD 229 Overland Park

Students in Wertin's third-grade class at Stilwell Elementary School know that each of them has a special place in their teacher's heart. In return, each of them has a special place in their heart for Wertin.

"After leaving Stilwell Elementary, going through middle school, high school, and even college, I kept in touch with Deb Wertin," said Kristen Hedberg, former student. "She was one reason I aspired to take on the career of teaching, to touch children's lives in the way that she touched mine."

"Mrs. Wertin has not just touched my life, but the lives of every student that she has ever had and I know she will continue to do so," said Karla King, who had Wertin for fourth grade.

Wertin believes in building positive relationships with all those around her. Of her teaching philosophy, she wrote: "Meaningful teaching and a lasting education are about building relationships. The relationships we build with students, parents, and colleagues are the very heart of a life-long education and what is truly important in the world.....The classroom environment should always be a place where my students feel safe and at ease to take risks in learning. This safe place is one where the students know each idea has value, thinking will not be judged, and corrections are made in a positive and encouraging way. The classroom is a place where a student can reach for a life preserver. Every student has the right to guidance and to learn strategies that will allow him or her to be successful in their future learning."

A native of St. Joseph, Missouri, Wertin earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Missouri Western State College and a Master's degree from Webster University.

Goldie Wood

English and Spanish
USD 443 Dodge City

Students in Wood's English and Spanish classes at Dodge City High School know her as an enthusiastic and compassionate teacher who inspires her students to excel in whatever they do.

"Mrs. Wood teaches her students more than how to write papers and appreciate literature. She teaches all of them that hard work and friendship can accomplish anything," said Kimberly Armstrong, former I student. "She develops a rapport with them and makes them feel comfortable in her class. She sees each student as an individual and makes them feel proud..... As a teacher and former student, I look up to Goldie Wood as a role model and friend."

"Mrs. Wood is a compassionate teacher and genuinely cares for each and every student that walks through her door. Through her teaching, she encourages students and makes them feel special and important," said Joshua L Kinder, former student. "She made English less threatening to me and in her own way influenced my decision to pursue print journalism in college."

Wood believes in encouraging others to excel. Of her teaching philosophy, she wrote: "We live in a world of slogans and symbols and catchy phrases, and J believe that if there's one saying that truly expresses my philosophy of education it's, 'Just Do It.' I feel certain that all of us can do more than we are doing if someone just convinces us that we can.....I think the best thing that I can do for students is to give them the opportunity to face challenges, to give them the tools to meet challenges, and then to rejoice with them when they succeed."

A native of Rush Springs, Oklahoma, Wood earned an Associate of Arts degree from Cameron College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.