2005 Award Winners
2005 Kansas Master Teachers
* Special Award, ** Black Endowed Chair Recipient
Ken Garwick, USD 383 Manhattan
Sandy Hardesty, USD 437 Auburn-Washburn
**Connie Neneman, USD 443 Dodge City
Kathryn Reschke, USD 233 Olathe
Kimberly Thomas, USD 259 Wichita
Mary Van Dyke, USD 409 Atchison
**Larry Wayland, USD 229 Blue Valle
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.
Sixth Grade Teacher
USD 383 Manhattan
Ken Garwick has a love for music and a magical approach to teaching. He shares ~islove of music by using various songs to introduce topics of study. "When students are working individually on an assignment, music to help students relax is played quietly in the background."
Mr. Garwick srrives to make each day exciting for his students so they will want to be in school. He accomplishes this through both hands-on and minds-on activities. He likes to use a little magic in his classroom.
As a sixth-grade teacher at Marlatt Elementary school in Manhattan, he magically teaches students about economics and the importance of managing their money. His innovative teaching methods in economics earned him a State Farm Insurance Good Neighbor Teaching Award.
Mr. Garwick has also received multiple year recognition in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers."
Social Studies Instructor
USD 437 Auburn-Washburn
Mrs. Sandy Hardesty's love for teaching began as a small child. She fondly remembers playing school in her basement and assigning "lessons" to the neighborhood kids.
Her educational philosophy centers on students, not the material they are being taught. "Students need teachers who implement the best teaching practices. Not everyone learns the same way and I would be remiss in my duties if I expected my students to all fit into one category and did not adapt to their learning styles."
Mrs. Hardesty focuses on making learning interesting for her students. "Content is not always fun, but if I can engage them with humor and a positive attitude, the battle is halfway won."
For over a decade, Mrs. Hardesty has taught English and Social Studies in Topeka. She also serves as dance team assistant coach and has coached in several other areas. She was a recipient of the Washburn Rural Educator of Excellence Award.
Mrs. Hardesty is active in her community and participates in numerous community service projects.
First and Second Grade Teacher
USD 443 Dodge City
"I truly believe that good teachers evolve and our commitment to change is one of the most valuable resources that we have to offer to our students' future," writes Mrs. Connie Neneman, who has taught elementary school students in Kansas for over a decade. "I embrace the challenge to hnd the 'common threads' in effective teaching and apply them to teach the forever-changing student."
Mrs. Neneman is an advocate for reading. "I believe reading is at the heart of everything we do. I try to promote it in every way possible." She has written her own take-home books for her beginning readers, creating 30 alphabet books for K -1, ESL and remedial instruction.
She has received recognition for her work with the Accelerated Reader Program. Mrs. Neneman is active in the Red Cross and Girl Scouts. Neneman also serves in many leadership capacities in her church.
K-6 School Counselor
USD 233 Olathe
For more than 25 years, Mrs. Kathryn Reschke, a K -6 school counselor in Olathe, has been helping people help themselves. "Every educator wants to make a difference in a life of a child, but I want to take it a step further; I want the child then to make a difference for others."
Her teaching involves role playing and giving students real life situations that they often encounter as kids.
A former student writes: "Mrs. Reschke helped me to cope with change in a lot of ways. She makes me feel a variety of different feelings. She makes me happy when she takes time our of her schedule to award me for doing a good job."
Mrs. Reschke is very involved in student activities. She is coordinator of the school's Kindest Kansas Citian Reception and Red Ribbon Week activities.
Mrs. Reschke was named the outstanding school counselor of the year in the elementary division by the Kansas School Counselor Association.
Fifth Grade Teacher
USD 259 Wichita
Students in Mrs. Kimberly Thomas' fifth grade class learn through actively engaging in hand-on activities. "Srudents learn best when they are actively engaged and involved in their own learning. I incorporate higher-level thinking and inquiry skills into the projects in order to stretch each student's thinking process."
In her classroom, Mrs. Thomas encourages her students to develop unique talents and explore their individual learning interests and needs. "My greatest accomplishments in my classroom have been laying the foundations for building self-esteem and character in my students and for helping them to discover the joy of learning through independent problem solving."
Mrs. Thomas was named 2004 Kansas Regional Teacher of the Year and was named Values in Action National Educator of the Year.
Mrs. Thomas believes it is important to encourage her students early in their lives to volunteer in the community. She actively engages her elementary students through her own volunteer service. She is an active member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the DUI Victim Center of Kansas, the Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas, and the American Red Cross.
Mary Van Dyke
K-8 District Facilitator for Gifted and Talented
USD 409 Atchison
Mary Van Dyke sees herself as a "talent scout" for creative productions. "I aim to teach students to express themselves, value the freedom of individual effort, and take that giant leap along the path to self-awareness."
Mrs. Van Dyke currently serves as district facilitator for gifted and talented K -8 in Atchison. She has been very instrumental in obtaining numerous grants to fund creative and innovative projects for her students.
"Ever since I stepped into her classroom, new things have awaited me. I have been a part of many projects, from essays to dramas, each only making me a stronger learner and leader," writes a student.
Mrs. Van Dyke has worked in Atchison since 1975. She was named Technology and Learning magazine's Kansas Teacher of the Year in 1994 and Atchison Rotary Teacher of the Year in 1995. Mrs. Van Dyke has been widely recognized for her innovation and service.
Visual Art Teacher
USD 229 Blue Valley
Quoting from Helen Keller, Mr. Larry Wayland says, "Relationships are the cornerstone of all meaningful teaching."
Mr. Wayland, a visual arts teacher at Blue Valley West High School, believes that teaching is a privileged position that demands humility as much as respect. "Students as human beings are all different, yet have great potential."
In his 32 years in education, Mr. Wayland has held a wide variety of teaching and administrative positions, ranging from elementary school art teacher to high school department chairman, from art therapist to district public relations director.
West Gallery Hall, an innovative art gallery used to showcase student work, was the brainchild of Mr. Wayland. He was also instrumental in the West Works project, a high school art show. Wayland has been awarded the Blue Valley West Golden Apple Teacher Award on two occasions.