A Lawrence teacher was honored and surprised by dozens of his former students Wednesday night.
Retired Langston Hughes fifth-grade teacher Dale Koerner was named Sunflower Bank’s Teacher of the Year at a ceremony at Maceli’s, 1031 N.H.
All of the program’s teachers of the month gathered to find out who would take home the top honor of teacher of the year.
“I think it’s very important to recognize the teachers,” Sunflower Bank President Glynn Sheridan said. “Let’s face it, they’re teaching our children and our children are the future of our community. I don’t think there’s anything more important than that.”
Sheridan said the response during this, the third year of the program honoring the top educators, was overwhelming. The bank received dozens of letters, e-mails and phone calls nominating Koerner for Teacher of the Year.
As Sheridan was presenting Koerner with the award, many of Koerner’s former students and their parents surprised him by pouring out of a back room.
“This is a very humbling experience,” Koerner said. “There are so many good people in this district. It’s a fantastic district to teach in.”
Koerner, who has 35 years of teaching experience, retired last year but is back at the school substituting.
He was presented with a plaque, a $500 check and a gift bag.