USD 418 teacher one of 32 Horizon Award Recipients

By Kansas Department of Education
January 16, 2015

The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) last week announced the recipients of the 2015 Kansas Horizon Award, which recognizes exemplary first-year educators. McPherson's Maria Loewen was named to the list.

Thirty-two first-year educators from around the state received this distinction and will be honored at a special ceremony during the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN) State Education Conference on Feb. 20, 2015 in Topeka.

The Kansas Horizon Award program, which is sponsored by KSDE, allows all school districts in the state an opportunity to nominate one elementary and one secondary teacher for the award. To be eligible for the award, teachers must have successfully completed their first year of teaching and have performed in such a way as to distinguish themselves as outstanding. The program is a regional competition with four regions corresponding to the state’s U.S. Congressional districts. Four elementary and four secondary classroom teachers may be selected for the award from each region.

Recipients of the 2015 Kansas Horizon Award were notified of their selection by Interim-Commissioner of Education, Brad Neuenswander. Neuenswander remarked, “I want to extend my congratulations to the recipients of the Kansas Horizon Award. These new educators have taken on the challenge of helping all of our students learn to their fullest potential, and I am excited by the quality of individuals we bring to our classrooms each year. I commend each of the award recipients for their dedication to making a difference in the lives of their students.”

2015 Kansas Horizon Award Recipients

Region 1

Collin Carlson, Salina South High School, USD 305 Salina

Leah DeTravernier, South Middle School, USD 480 Liberal

Madeline Dierking, Logan Avenue Elementary School, USD 253 Emporia

Justin Heeke, Miller Elementary School, USD 443 Dodge City

Austyn McNew, Bluemont Elementary School, USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden

Chrystiana Miller, Sheridan Elementary School, USD 475 Geary County

Maria Loewen, McPherson Middle School, USD 418 McPherson

Olga Silverman, Solomon High School, USD 393 Solomon

Region 2

Alyssa Buxman, Berryton Elementary School, USD 450 Shawnee Heights

Collin Eidelson, Ottawa High School, USD 290 Ottawa

Nichole Gurwell, Tonganoxie Elementary School, USD 464 Tonganoxie

Laura Hochman, South Middle School, USD 497 Lawrence

Wendy Madere, Rossville Grade School, USD 321 Kaw Valley

Jessica Otradovec, Seaman High School, USD 345 Seaman

Brittany Roper, Shawnee Heights High School, USD 450 Shawnee Heights

Hannah Rosell, Earl M. Lawson Elementary School, USD 453 Leavenworth

Region 3

Kelsey Bradley, Indian Valley Elementary School, USD 229 Blue Valley

Jamie Droegemeier, Spring Hill Middle School, USD 230 Spring Hill

Katherine Durick, Lakewood Middle School, USD 229 Blue Valley

Haley Epperson, Spring Hill Elementary School, USD 230 Spring Hill

Joel McGhee, Broadmoor Elementary School, USD 416 Louisburg

Taylor Newman, Prairie Ridge Elementary School, USD 232 DeSoto

Alyssa Passmore, Turner Sixth Grade Academy, USD 202 Turner

Katherine Wilber, Monticello Trails Middle School, USD 232 DeSoto

Region 4

Bethany Brewer, McCollom Elementary School, USD 259 Wichita

Jessica Dosser, Garfield Elementary School, USD 402 Augusta

Patrick Huddleston, Andover Central High School, USD 385 Andover

Caleb McCaffree, Ruth Clark Elementary School, USD 261 Haysville

Kathryn Richardson, Coleman Middle School, USD 259 Wichita

Grant Threlkeld, Amelia Earhart Elementary School, USD 265 Goddard

Susanna Tippett, Newton High School, USD 373 Newton

Kaitlin Woellhof, Valley Center High School, USD 262 Valley Center

As recipients of the Kansas Horizon Award, these educators are invited to join the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN), a network of educators from around the state who have been formally recognized for exemplary performance. Members of KEEN have an opportunity to network with other outstanding educators and participate in a number of professional development programs throughout the year.