A popular teacher at Lawrence High School has been named Kansas' Outstanding Biology Teacher for 1995.
Ken Highfill, who has taught at LHS since 1968, received the award from the National Association of Biology Teachers and Prentice Hall.
Highfill, 52, teaches general biology, human anatomy and physiology, college preparatory biology and zoology.
Through the years, Highfill's students have taken field trips to Alaska and Colorado and, in the classroom, experimented with DNA. More recently, some of Highfill's students have focused on the Baker Wetlands, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Toyota Appreciation Program for Excellence to Science Teachers Reaching Youth.
Highfill said that he's indebted to his students and that he's learned a great deal in workshops and forums sponsored by state and national associations for biology and science teachers.
"My advice to any up-and-coming biology or science teacher is to join those associations," he said.
Working in Lawrence has its pluses. He pointed to the cooperation he's received from three Kansas University professors -- Ken Armitage, Orley "Chip" Taylor and Jack Brown -- and a Kansas State University professor, Tom Manney.
"This place doesn't work the same without people like that," he said.
LHS Principal Brad Tate said Highfill goes the extra mile -- often.
"He spends an awful lot of time and energy with kids," Tate said. "He goes beyond the classroom. He tries new things, and his course is very demanding. He really stretches kids. ... He gets kids involved in original research and things like that that a lot of people don't do."