Distinguished Teachers 2007

Christian Schools

07BurdDennis Burd is a committed mathematics teacher at Maranatha Academy in Shawnee. For the past 10 years, he has passionately shared his knowledge and love of math to his students. Mr. Burd routinely gives up his lunch hour or stays after school to help his students master the material.

In addition, he is a gifted musician who serves as the high school’s worship band advisor, and organizes student worship bands to lead worship during chapels. Boyd Beck, Maranatha Academy Secondary Principal, said, “Dennis is a devoted teacher and servant. He instills a desire for music and worship for Jesus Christ, is a man of integrity and is dedicated to his profession.”

Mr. Burd received his degree in secondary education from Calvary Bible College (1994) and an Associate of Business degree from Kansas City Community College (1990).


Diocese of Dodge City

07AtkinsonInga Atkinson has shepherded and lovingly instructed the 3-year-old “Star”ters and 4-year-old pre-kindergartners at Holy Family School in Great Bend for the past five years.

Nominated by her fellow teachers, Mrs. Atkinson was chosen for her commitment to helping each of her young students learn and succeed, and also for her dedication to Catholic education.

“Inga is the most genuine and patient person I know,” said Karen Moeder, Holy Family Principal. “She treats every student as if they were her own children, nurtures them into strong young people, and is a shining example of what it means to teach here.”

Mrs. Atkinson has taught at Catholic and Christian schools since 1984. She received her bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University (1984) and her Associate of Science degree (1982) from Northeastern Oklahoma A & M.

Independent Schools

07FarmerGale Farmer is an outstanding and beloved 28-year mathematics instructor at Wichita Collegiate School. Mr. Farmer is routinely one of the first teachers to arrive in the morning and the last to leave, as he is driven by his passion to inspire his students to love and respect the discipline of mathematics.

“In addition to teaching his students mathematics, Gale is creating critical and analytical thinkers,” Jonathan Eades, Head of Upper School, Wichita Collegiate, said. “Never before have I seen a teacher with such a unique ability to cultivate life-long learners, and most important yet, intellectual risk-takers.”

Mr. Farmer also is currently the Academic Dean and the Math Department Chair for Collegiate. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in 1970 and 1972 respectively.


Lutheran Schools

07LonghauserDonna Longhauser is an invaluable second grade teacher at Holy Cross Lutheran School in Wichita. For the past eight and one-half years at her current school – and more than 29 years in her teaching career – she has had the gift of making each child feel special. She is particularly talented in working with struggling students.

“Donna works hard to educate the whole child. She is concerned with all aspects of each child’s life,” Bill Dieckhoff, Holy Cross Lutheran Principal, said. “She seems to very naturally be able to identify specific needs children have, and determine how to find solutions for these needs.”

Mrs. Longhauser has spent her entire career in Lutheran primary schools. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois in 1974.


Diocese of Salina

07FossLaura Reif Foss has been an outstanding and enthusiastic first grade teacher for the past 10 years at Sacred Heart Grade School in Plainville. Her creative approach to subjects and her skill in class presentation have her young students eagerly arriving early each morning.

Mrs. Reif Foss’s administrative talents also prompted Carol Parker, Sacred Heart Principal, to appoint her as “teacher-in-charge” in her absence. Mrs. Parker became acquainted with Mrs. Reif Foss in 1976 when she taught her in fifth grade. She said, “I have watched her grow into a wonderful young woman full of creative energy, and Christian love for her students and peers.”

Mrs. Reif Foss completed both her master’s degree in elementary education (2000) and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (1993) from Fort Hays State University.


Diocese of Wichita

07GoehringRoxanne Goehring has been creatively teaching science at St. Anne’s Catholic School in Wichita since 1981. Her exceptional abilities can be seen in her imaginative use of labs and inventive projects that address the varied learning styles of her students.

Mrs. Goehring is active in St. Anne’s fine arts program as she directs an annual melodrama for the middle school students. She also is intricately involved in the Human Sexuality Program that helps students and teachers alike in following the teachings of the Catholic Church.

“Roxanne’s daily model of generous giving, compassion, dedication, humor and rapport with students, parents and staff is truly an example for all of us,” said Sister Margaret Nugent, St. Anne’s Principal.

Mrs. Goehring began her teaching career in 1970. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wichita State University (1970).