A Lawrence educator has been honored as the state's top elementary school principal.
Janet Broers, principal at Lawrence's Sunflower School, said she was surprised by the honor she received this week -- Elementary School Principal of the Year.
"I think it's a very great honor," Broers said Friday afternoon.
She received the honor Thursday night in Emporia at the annual meeting of the Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals (KAESP).
Local elementary school principals nominated Broers. Sharen Steele, principal at New York School, and Linda Rogers, principal at Wakarusa Valley School, wrote the letter placing Broers' name in nomination.
"I think the greatest thing about it is you're being nominated by your peers," Broers said. "What makes it special is that they feel you're doing a good job and they appreciate what you're doing."
That's just what Broers' peers thought, too, Rogers said.
"She was nominated because of her years of experience and the hard work and effort she has put in," Rogers said.
"I think everyone looks to her because of her common sense and good judgment. My admiration for her is because Janet always keeps the child in mind."
Rogers said Broers has also been very active in many professional education organizations and in the community.
Broers has been a principal for 12 years in Lawrence after starting her career as a teacher.
She was principal at Cordley School for eight years before being named principal the Sunflower School when it opened four years ago.
Broers received a bachelor's degree and a doctorate from Kansas State University. She has a master's degree in special education from Kansas University.
"All of my teaching experiences were in the Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley school districts, where I taught everything from preschool to ninth-graders," she said.
She taught home economics from 1959 to 1961 and in 1965 in Shawnee Mission schools. She taught learning disabled students from 1973 to 1976 in Shawnee Mission Schools. And she was a resource teacher for learning disabled students from 1976 to 1984 in the Blue Valley district.
She worked for the Doniphan County Education Cooperative as director of special education from 1984 to 1986.
"What I like best about being principal is the fact that I have the opportunity to guide and direct education and opportunities for more children than I was able to as a classroom teacher," Broers said. "I want to be a mentor for teachers in order to help the children.... I feel a lot of times that my role is a counselor for the kids and to let them know I care about them and that each one is a capable individual."