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2019 Winners

2019 Kansas Master Teachers

* Special Award, ** Black Endowed Chair Recipient



2019 KMT Program.pdf

This program contains the names of the Master Teacher Nominees for the year listed here.

2019 Class of Kansas Master Teachers Announced

February 26, 2019

Talented. Phenomenal. One in a million. These are the words used by the people who work and learn from the seven teachers chosen as the 2019 Kansas Master Teachers, announced today:

  • Paula Barr, Second-Grade Teacher at Quail Run Elementary School in USD 497 Lawrence;
  • Dedra Braxmeyer, Mathematics Teacher at Manhattan High School in USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden;
  • Laura Gaughan, Elementary Reading Specialist at O’Loughlin Elementary School in USD 489 Hays;
  • Michelle Hilliard, Mathematics Teacher at Complete High School Maize in USD 266 Maize;
  • Lisa Jarvis, English Language Arts Teacher at Council Grove Junior-Senior High School in USD 417 Morris County;
  • Carolynn Phalen, First-Grade Teacher at Grace E. Stewart Elementary School in USD 305 Salina; and
  • Linda Vena, Elementary Reading Specialist at Mission Trail Elementary School in USD 229 Blue Valley.

The 2019 master teachers represent 180 years of classroom experience.

Through the support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, each Master Teacher will be presented with a check for $1000.

The recipients were selected by a nine-member committee including representatives from the Kansas Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals, Kansas Association of School Boards, Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals, Kansas Parent Teacher Organization, Kansas National Education Association, ESU’s Kappa Delta Pi student organization, and representatives of the 2018 Kansas Master Teacher class.

The 2019 Master Teachers will be honored on Master Teacher Day to be held Wednesday, April 3 at Emporia State University. On that day, as part of several recognition activities, the teachers will present a seminar at 2:30 p.m. in the W.S. and E.C. Jones Conference Center in Visser Hall. The teachers will then be honored during a social hour at 5:45 p.m. in Webb Hall Lobby of Emporia State’s Memorial Union followed by the banquet and award ceremony at 6:30 p.m. in Webb Hall.

Tickets for the dinner cost $20, and reservations are required by Friday, March 22.

Emporia State established the Kansas Master Teacher awards in 1954. The awards are presented annually to teachers who have served the profession long and well, who also typify the outstanding qualities of earnest and conscientious teachers. Information on the 65 years of educators named Kansas Master Teachers is available at

Since 1980, Bank of America has pledged more than $100,000 to permanently endow the Kansas Master Teacher awards. In 1984, the Black family of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, established an endowed chair for Kansas Master Teachers. The fund provides a stipend to bring two Master Teachers to Emporia State for several days. During this time, the teachers present to classes of education students.

Update April 3, 2019

Dr. Ken Weaver, Dean of The Teachers College, was named a 2019 Kansas Master Teacher for his years of service in education.

Seminar for Pre-Service Teachers

The 2019 Kansas Master Teachers held a seminar for education students in Visser Hall at Emporia State University, where future teachers had the opportunity to learn from the cream of the crop in the state. Among the topics addressed were meeting students’ individual needs, the dedication and commitment required as an educator, and continued professional development.

Award Program

The 2019 Kansas Master Teachers were honored at a banquet in Emporia State University's Memorial Union. Tributes from colleagues, supervisors, former and current students were read before each of the 2019 Kansas Master Teacher addressed the audience, sharing anecdotes, philosophies, and their perspectives from serving in education.