Mary Lonker, a high school English language arts teacher at Wamego High School was named a Region 1 finalist for the 2014 Kansas Teacher of the Year award today. This award recognizes excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state.
The announcements were made during ceremonies at the Salina Country Club. As a finalist for the Kansas Teacher of the Year distinction, Lonker each received a $2,000 cash award from Security Benefit, a major partner in the Kansas Teacher of the Year program. The Kansas Teacher of the Year award will be announced during ceremonies Nov. 23 in Wichita.
Lonker was among six Teacher of the Year semi-finalists from Region 1. Another area semi-finalist was Eileen Wertzberger, a high school English language arts teacher at Junction City High School.
Nominations are made in each of four regions in the state. Each panel selects six semi-finalists – three elementary teachers and three secondary teachers.
From those semi-finalists, the panel in each region then selects one elementary finalist and one secondary finalist.
The Kansas Teacher of the Year is selected from among the state’s eight regional finalists.
The individual selected as the Kansas Teacher of the Year is eligible for national distinction as Teacher of the Year.