Distinguished Teachers 2008

Christian Schools

08BusenitzLeroy Busenitz has dedicated his life to the ministry of Christian Education at Berean Academy (Elbing) for the past 34 years. “Mr. B,” as his students call him, is a secondary math teacher and sponsor of Berean’s Student Christian Action organization. A Berean alumnus, he said his calling to teach began during his years at the school.

“He is no doubt one of the most dedicated and disciplined individuals that I know. Like a great coach, who is good at teaching fundamentals to his athletes, Mr. Busenitz is great at teaching the fundamentals of life to his students,” explained Terry Tilson, Berean Academy Superintendent.

Mr. Busenitz attended Grace Bible Institute from 1964 to 1966. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Emporia State in 1974, and completed his master’s degree at Kansas State in 1974.


Diocese of Dodge City

08NeumanJody Neuman put her full heart into teaching computer instruction and physical education at St. Dominic Catholic School in Garden City. She has been instrumental in the success of her student’s state assessments, and continually updates her skills to stay abreast of the latest technology.

“Jody’s expectations are high. Her commitment to get students to succeed — in whatever they are doing — is even higher. Saying Jody teaches her two subjects seems inadequate for all she does for and at our school. She is a true example of being a servant of God,” said Trina Delgado, Principal of Catholic Schools of Garden City.

Having taught math and physical education in the early years of her career, Mrs. Neuman began her tenure with St. Dominic in 1989. She holds a B.S. in Physical Education from Fort Hays Sate (1974).


Independent Schools

08EnszSusan Ensz is passionate about nurturing her young students to become motivated, self-directed learners that truly experience the joy of discovery. She has joyfully spent her 27-year career with young learners, and has served as a pre-school and Kindergarten teacher in the Early Childhood Division at Wichita Collegiate School for 15 of those years.

Her director, Becky O’Hearn, said, “Ms. Ensz is a consummate advocate for preserving the developmental process, and meeting the needs of young children. Through her professionalism, warmth, and grace, she draws students and parents alike into her ‘circle of acceptance’.”

Ms. Ensz began teaching in 1977. She taught Kindergarten in the Kansas public school system, and began teaching at Wichita Collegiate School in 1989. Ms. Ensz received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Wichita State in 1973.


Lutheran Schools

08WilgersKaren Wilgers has served as a Resource Teacher for Holy Cross Lutheran School (Wichita) since 1981. She is responsible for the Accelerated Reader Program for grades 2-5, and numerous children have grown to love reading through her efforts. She is also the faculty representative to the school’s governing board.

“Into her 30th year of teaching, Karen continues to serve the Lord through her education ministry. Her warm and welcoming smile has been a draw for all students who are always desirous of her attention,” said Bill Dieckhoff, Holy Cross Lutheran School Principal.

Mrs. Wilgers obtained her bachelor’s degree from Kansas State in 1972 and her master’s degree from Wichita State in 1980. In 2003, she became a commissioned minister of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod through Concordia University’s colloquy program.


Diocese of Salina

08ColeTrudy Cole is a dedicated and loving first grade teacher, who not only also teaches fourth grade math, and writes the annual Christmas program for the St. John’s Catholic School (Hanover) students, but goes home to help run her family’s farm. Her Catholic faith is a personal priority, and one she shares joyfully with her students.

“Trudy keeps the students in mind daily when she approaches her job, and is very perceptive to the individual needs of her students and the entire student body. She is also the consummate staff member and a great supporter of her fellow staff members,” said Tim Rundle, St. John’s Principal.

Mrs. Cole began teaching at St. John’s in 1995, and is the co-chair of the building leadership team for St. John’s NCA Accreditation. She graduated Cum Laude from Kansas State in 1995.


Diocese of Wichita

08SchadCori Eck Schad is a career first grade teacher whose top priorities are to nurture the budding Catholic faith of her students, and to encourage them to meet her high educational standards.

“Mrs. Schad incorporates innovative methods in her classroom, and knows her children individually. She demands the best of her students by giving her best, and that is why her students love her, her parents trust her, and her colleagues respect her,” said Janice Palmer, Magdalen School Principal.

Mrs. Schad is in her thirteenth year of teaching first grade. She holds two undergraduate degrees: a B.S. from Kansas State in Therapeutic Recreation (1991), and a B.A. in Elementary Education from Wichita State (1995). In May 2008, Ms. Schad will complete her master’s degree as a reading specialist from Wichita State.