Distinguished Teachers 2009

Christian Schools

09AndersonDelonn Anderson is committed to Christian education and has served joyfully as a third grade teacher at Maranatha Academy in Shawnee since 1998. She excels at imaginative activities such as hosting an “Author’s Tea” where students read their completed books to their parents. In addition, she is a consultant for city-wide reading projects.

“Mrs. Anderson not only teaches her students in a way that captivates their interest and imagination, but she does it with great joy and a servant’s heart,” said Laura Burch, Elementary Principal, Maranatha Academy. “She is also a leader and encourager of other teachers.”

She began her teaching career in 1975 after earning her BA in Elementary Education from the University of Sioux Falls in 1971.

Mrs. Anderson completed her master’s degree in Education from Mid America Nazarene University in 2005.


    Diocese of Dodge City

09BoydVirginia Boyd has faithfully dedicated nearly 40 years to elementary education, with the last 19 as a beloved kindergarten and first grade teacher at Scared Heart Cathedral School in Dodge City.

Currently, she uses her creative gifts to motivate her “busy” kindergartners. She is known at school for her inviting classroom, for her excellent instruction, for her loyalty to God, and for encouraging her peers.

“Virginia is a very organized teacher, and she spends many hours in preparation for her classes and activities. The children in her class always know that they are loved,” Bonnie Schuette, Sacred Heart Lead Teacher, said. “Sacred Heart Cathedral School is very lucky to have such a gifted teacher as Mrs. Boyd.”

Mrs. Boyd earned her BS in Elementary Education from St. Mary of the Plains College in 1968.


Independent Schools

09KennedyJamie Kennedy has been an outstanding teacher at Wichita Collegiate for the past 20 years. Currently a sixth grade teacher and team leader, she has also taught fi rst and second grade. Mrs. Kennedy’s artistic talents have helped to develop exciting curriculum, with her students simulating immigration through Ellis Island, and performing Shakespeare.

“Jamie’s professional achievements are many, but what is most impressive about her is not only the accomplishments, per se, but the person she is. She is a shining star not only to the children in her classroom, but to their parents and her colleagues as well,” said Ann Rai, Head, Wichita Collegiate Middle School.

Mrs. Kennedy began teaching in 1977. She holds a BS in Education from the University of Kansas (1977), and received her MS in Education from Wichita State University in 1983.

Lutheran Schools

09KirkStella O’Brien is a beloved kindergarten teacher at Zion Lutheran School in Independence. She began teaching at Zion Lutheran in 1998, but her teaching career started in 1988. As an innovative teacher, she includes a cooking project in every unit, maintains a class greenhouse, and her students even have a worm farm. She looks for potential in every student.

“The greatest strength of Mrs. O’Brien is her ability to connect with our students, and model Jesus in all she does. She is, by nature and by determination, an encourager and additionally serves as a mentor for new teachers,” Dawn Oldenettel, Principal, Zion Lutheran School, said.

Mrs. O’Brien earned an AA in Education from Labette Community College in 1986, and a BS in Education in 1992 from Pittsburg State University. In 1997, she was given an Early Childhood Endorsement from Independence Community College.


Diocese of Salina

09Bean    JoAnn Bean has lovingly taught kindergarten and preschool at Sacred Heart Grade School in Plainville since 2002. During her tenure at Sacred Heart, she has enhanced the reading and math programs, and her students consistently score above grade level. She is also instrumental in providing afterschool tutorials for children, and leadership among her peers as School Improvement Team (SIT) Chair at Sacred Heart.

“JoAnn has proved to be one of the most incredible early childhood teachers I have had the pleasure of knowing. She is compassionate, understanding, and wise with students, parents and peers. Many of her former students seek her out after they enter the upper grades,” Carol Parker, Principal, Sacred Heart Grade School, said.

Mrs. Bean first began teaching in 1975. She received a BS in Elementary Education from Kansas State University that same year.


Diocese of Wichita

09OBrienJoy Kirk has been devoted to teaching at St. Patrick Catholic School in Wichita since 1990, and has skillfully taught a variety of subjects and grades during her 27 years in education. Reading is her passion, so in addition to serving as the school librarian, she is also the Success for All (SFA) Reading Facilitator. She is committed to helping her students broaden their love of reading through helping them to select the right reading material.

“Joy wears many hats at St. Patrick Catholic School, and she takes on all challenges with grace, poise, and a grand smile, spreading joy to everyone,” said St. Patrick Principal, Theresa Lam. “She puts 110 percent into everything she does.”

Mrs. Kirk received her BA in Elementary Education in 1971 from Friends University, and earned her MS in Education (Emphasis in Reading) from Wichita State University in 1974.