LeAnn Folden has taught kindergarten and first grade for the past nine years at Bethel Life School in Wichita. She greets each child in the morning with a smile and enthusiasm for that day’s activities. Her principal, Judy Pitts says “Love comes before learning”, and the children know that Mrs. Folden loves them. She received a degree in Education in 1979 from Evangel University.
“One of the most important areas of teaching to Mrs. Folden is reading,” Judy Pitts, Principal at Bethel Life School says. “She recognizes the need for a good understanding of phonics, and she works with each child, listening to them read, asking questions, teaching them to read fluently and making life applications.”
Diocese of Dodge City
Rose Ann Burkhart teaches Kindergarten at Holy Family School in Great Bend and has been teaching in Catholic Schools for almost 35 years. Her dedication to teaching includes working countless hours in her classroom beyond the school day. Her young students are well prepared when they leave her classroom and her excitement is contagious. She received a degree in Elementary Education from Kansas Newman in 1968.
“Rose Ann was nominated by her peers for teacher of the year because of her commitment and love of teaching and her loyalty and dedication to Catholic education,” says Karen Moeder, Holy Family School Principal. “She is a true example of a teacher in love with teaching!”
Ernie Drowatzky is a science teacher at The Independent School of Wichita. Since 1996 he has taught a variety of science classes that include Biology, Physical Science, Anatomy and Physiology. He began teaching physical education in 1964 and became a science teacher in 1969.
“Ernie Drowatzky is a superior model for others to emulate both in his proficiency in the classroom and his ethics and relationships with others. Ernie is not a teacher because it brings him glory, but because he genuinely loves the learning process and the students,” says Larry Roberts, The Independent School Principal.
Mr. Drowatzky received a degree in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma in 1961 and a Master’s Degree in Science Education from Wichita State University in 1978.
Kris Alsin is a kindergarten teacher at Hope Lutheran School in Shawnee, where she consistently provides a loving, Christ-centered learning environment for each of her kindergarten students. She is always more than willing to help with the “extras” it takes to offer a sound educational program and her classroom is filled with creative learning centers. She puts a high priority on staying current with the newest educational trends and attends classes and workshops and communicates often with other kindergarten teachers.
Mrs. Alsin is a 1984 graduate of Northern Arizona University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. In addition to being a full time teacher, she is an active member on the Family Ministry Support Team at Hope Lutheran Church.
Diocese of Salina
June Mongeau is the second and third grade teacher at Sacred Heart Grade School in Plainville. She has taught at the school since 1976 and has served in several leadership positions including mentor for new teachers and co-chair of the local Professional Development Committee.
According to her principal, Carol Parker, she is respected and beloved by peers and students alike. “In addition to her outstanding qualities as a skilled educator, June has wonderful ‘people’ skills — understanding, wisdom, tact, openness, and a willingness to listen — which greatly enhances her relationships with parents as well as the community at large.”
Mrs. Mongeau received her degree in Elementary Education from Fort Hays State University in 1973.
Diocese of Wichita
Tom Compton is the high school counselor at Colgan High School in Pittsburg and has taught almost every subject in his many years at Colgan. He began teaching there in 1974, and has spent 40 of his 50 years at St. Mary’s Catholic Grade School and Colgan High School as a student, teacher, coach and counselor.
His principal Pat Forbes says, “Tom is the living embodiment of all that the title ‘teacher’ implies. Tom seeks excellence from himself and expects his students, regardless of ability, to strive for their own personal best.” Mr. Compton holds Master’s degrees in History and Counseling from Pittsburg State University. He has been school counselor since 1990.