Cultivating Minds in the Field of Education

Posted by cservaes on June 19, 2012 in "Academic Programs", Alumni, education, "Kansas State Department of Education", "Ottawa Middle School", "School of Education", "The College" Brian Hutton and a fellow teacher at Ottawa Middle School wanted to come up with a creative way to get their 7th graders to read. What they decided on was a friendly competition in which each student was rewarded for every 100 pages they read. “They would receive a paper snowball to build a snowman on our doors,” Hutton ’11 said. “There was a competition between all five classes to see which group could read the most in a month’s time.” The result of the competition was more than Hutton imagined. “I’ve never seen my students so focused on reading,” he said. “Almost every day, I had a student ask me where they were in the standings.” Hutton, who was recently featured in the Ottawa Herald for his teaching techniques is just one of several Ottawa University graduates who has been recently recognized for making a difference in the field of education. • The Kansas State Department of Education selected Ottawa University graduate Sara Gehrt OU-Kansas City ’10 as a 2012 Kansas Horizon Award winner. Gehrt is a fifth-grade teacher at Clear Creek Elementary in Shawnee. • Tamar Pratt OU-Kansas City ’10 was nominated for the Horizon Award and was presented the district level honor in September 2011. She earned her business degree and worked for 10 years before going back to school at OU to earn her teaching license. She currently teaches fifth grade at Spring Hill (KS) Intermediate School. • Michael Pickman ’01 was selected as a Kansas Regional Teacher of the Year for 2011-12. Pickman teaches at Prairie View High School, La Cygne, Kansas. • Marcel Kadera-Redmond ’06 was selected as Teacher of the Year for 2010-11 in the Spring Hill, Kansas, school district. • Dianne Gier ’06 was nominated for 2010-11 Teacher of the Year at Grant Elementary in the Kansas City, Kansas, Public School district. • Michelle Toon ’92 has been named principal of Wolf Creek Elementary School, a new school opening in Fall 2013 in Spring Hill, Kansas. Toon currently serves as principal of Spring Hill Elementary School. • Education students Laurie White and Shelbie Glissman, Ottawa University’s spring Kansas Teachers of Promise, were recognized at the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN) State Education Conference sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education on February 23 and 24. • David Prihoda ‘11, who is originally from Osawatomie, Kansas, was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Malaysia  in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in August of 2011. Prihoda left for Malaysia in January.