Pat Grzenda was surprised Friday to learn her meeting at Lawrence school district headquarters wasn't about policy, the budget or anything other than honoring her dedication as a teacher.
Supt. Randy Weseman announced her selection as the Lawrence district's 2003-2004 master teacher.
"I had no idea," Grzenda said. "This is quite an honor."
She has been teaching in the Lawrence district for 27 years. Throughout her career, she's specialized in "adaptive" physical education for students with disabilities.
She is automatically nominated for the Kansas master teacher program sponsored by Emporia State University.
Many students outside special education know of Grzenda for the years she spent as boys' and girls' swim coach at Lawrence High School and as coach of the youth swim club, Aquahawks.
The award doesn't carry a cash prize, but photographs of district winners are on permanent display at district headquarters.
Master teachers must have taught for at least five years. Candidates must exhibit outstanding professional service, teaching effectiveness, constructive service to the community and zeal in promoting the advancement of education.
The past five winners of the Lawrence award are: Pam Williams, Broken Arrow School; Sherry Slade, Free State High School; Joe Nyre, district administrator; Jane Boberg, Quail Run School, and Lynda Wheeler, Centennial School.