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 schoolÃ¢ÂÂs 250 elementary students the value of American Education Week.
Turns out Weseman actually called everybody together for a surprise announcement of WilliamsÃ¢ÂÂ selection as the Lawrence districtÃ¢ÂÂs 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.
Ã¢ÂÂThis is a very great honor,Ã¢ÂÂ said Williams, clutching two bouquets of flowers and wiping tears from her eyes. Ã¢ÂÂThere are many teachers who deserve this. We all put a lot of heart and soul into our profession.Ã¢ÂÂ
And thatÃ¢ÂÂs precisely why colleagues nominated her.
Ã¢ÂÂShe is the Ã¢ÂÂ'go-toÃ¢ÂÂ person at Broken Arrow,Ã¢ÂÂ said Principal Larry Bakerink.
Matt Gudenkauf, former Broken Arrow student and current Free State High School teacher, added, Ã¢ÂÂShe has more patience, knowledge and dedication of any teacher that I have known.Ã¢ÂÂ
Williams is in her 27th year as a teacher at Broken Arrow - sheÃ¢ÂÂs never taught anywhere else.
Ã¢ÂÂShe has dedicated her life to teaching kids,Ã¢ÂÂ 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.
SheÃ¢ÂÂs a charter member of the Broken ArrowÃ¢ÂÂs 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 districtÃ¢ÂÂs teacher leadership cadre.
Williams helped write the districtÃ¢ÂÂs science curriculum. She helped to draft, pilot and train teachers on the Ã¢ÂÂFlight of NatureÃ¢ÂÂ 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.