Thirty-two first-year educators from Kansas are being recognized for their outstanding teaching skills through the 2019 Kansas Horizon Award program.

The 2019 Kansas Horizon Award recipients were announced Jan. 8 by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE).

The first-year educators will be honored at a special ceremony during the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN) State Education Conference on Feb. 15 in Topeka.

The Kansas Horizon Award program, 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 2019 Kansas Horizon Award were notified of their selection by Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson.

“These 32 educators are shining examples of the great talent we have in Kansas,” Watson said. “I want to thank them for their time and dedication to the teaching profession. They are not only teaching Kansas students, they are instilling a love of learning, inspiring and igniting passions. We are fortunate to have such quality teachers in classrooms across Kansas. It is because of them that we move closer to our vision of leading the world in the success of each student.”

2019 Kansas Horizon Award Recipients

Region 1

Holly Abel, Riverside Elementary School, Emporia USD 253

Abigail Baeten, Lincoln Elementary School, Clay County USD 379

Abigail Buser, Westwood Elementary School, Geary County USD 475

Meredith Clark, Beloit Junior/Senior High School, Beloit USD 273

Kristy Fischer, Ellinwood Middle/High School, Ellinwood USD 355

Kaleigh Huxman, McPherson Middle School, McPherson USD 418

Jill Siebert, Hillsboro Elementary School, Hillsboro-Lehigh-Durham USD 410

Alicia Torr, Moundridge Middle/High School, Moundridge USD 423

Region 2

Olivia Basye, Berryton Elementary School, Shawnee Heights USD 450

Chari Bauman, Yates Center Elementary School, Woodson USD 366

Julie Burk, Eudora Elementary School, Eudora USD 491

Riley Propps, Shawnee Heights High School, Shawnee Heights USD 450

Logan Pegram, Anderson County Junior/Senior High School, Garnett-Greeley-Westphalia USD 365

Macy Pickman, Atchison High School, Atchison USD 409

Garret Platt, Seaman Middle School, Seaman USD 345

Hannah Taylor, Scott Dual Language Magnet School, Topeka USD 501

Region 3

Bailey Bacon, J.C. Harmon High School, Kansas City USD 500

Kadra Boulware, Rockville Elementary School, Louisburg USD 416

Katey Foley, Gardner Edgerton High School, Gardner Edgerton USD 231

Sarah Lenz, Wolf Creek Elementary School, Spring Hill USD 230

Haley Poulter, Mize Elementary School, De Soto USD 232

Clayton Prater, Bonner Springs Elementary School, Bonner Springs/Edwardsville USD 204

Leanna Willer, Louisburg High School, Louisburg USD 416

Danielle Winkler, Spring Hill Middle School, Spring Hill USD 230

Region 4

Macey Dinkel, Stafford Elementary School, Stafford USD 349

Rachel Eck, Goddard High School, Goddard USD 265

Amy Hiebert, Halstead Middle School, Halstead/Bentley USD 440

Joseph Hubener, Clearwater High School, Clearwater USD 264

Chandler Ochoa, Newton High School, Newton USD 373

Michelle Ramirez, Nelson Elementary School, Haysville USD 261

Payton Scheer, Challenger Intermediate School, Goddard USD 265

Paige Towey, St. Mark’s School, Renwick USD 267

As recipients of the Kansas Horizon Award, these educators are invited to 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 several professional development programs throughout the year.