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Archive for Thursday, November 14, 2002

Educator named master teacher

November 14, 2002

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Teacher Pam Williams marched sixth-graders Wednesday to the Broken Arrow School gym for what promised to be a routine assembly.

Supt. Randy Weseman was scheduled to explain to the schoolâÂÂs 250 elementary students the value of American Education Week.

Turns out Weseman actually called everybody together for a surprise announcement of Williamsâ selection as the Lawrence districtâÂÂs 2002-2003 master teacher of the year.

She will be nominated for the Kansas master teacher award presented in the spring by Emporia State University.

âÂÂThis is a very great honor,â said Williams, clutching two bouquets of flowers and wiping tears from her eyes. âÂÂThere are many teachers who deserve this. We all put a lot of heart and soul into our profession.âÂÂ

And thatâÂÂs precisely why colleagues nominated her.

âÂÂShe is the âÂÂ'go-toâ person at Broken Arrow,â said Principal Larry Bakerink.

Matt Gudenkauf, former Broken Arrow student and current Free State High School teacher, added, âÂÂShe has more patience, knowledge and dedication of any teacher that I have known.âÂÂ

Williams is in her 27th year as a teacher at Broken Arrow - sheâÂÂs never taught anywhere else.

âÂÂShe has dedicated her life to teaching kids,â Weseman said.

She is responsible for the sixth-grade reading and spelling curriculum and fifth- and sixth-grade science and health instruction at Broken Arrow.

SheâÂÂs a charter member of the Broken ArrowâÂÂs site council, sponsor of the yearbook and chairwoman of the quality-performance accreditation monitoring team. She represents the school with the Lawrence Education Assn. and the districtâÂÂs teacher leadership cadre.

Williams helped write the districtâÂÂs science curriculum. She helped to draft, pilot and train teachers on the âÂÂFlight of Natureâ curriculum used in the district and by the Natural History Museum at Kansas University.

Recent Lawrence master teachers include Sherry Slade, Free State; Joe Nyre, special-education administrator; Jane Boberg, Quail Run School; Lynda Wheeler, Centennial School; and Brian Anderson, Central Junior High School.

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