Paula Meyers teaches math and Kelli Baucom works in special education, and neither can seem to say enough about one of their colleagues at Kennedy School: Ann Lounsbury.
Make that Master Teacher Ann Lounsbury, who won the title Tuesday.
“She’s fabulous,” Meyers said. “We wouldn’t be successful without her.”
Baucom: “She’s a shining light in our building.”
Meyers: “She’s our anchor.”
Baucom: “She’s our Bat Signal.”
Meyers: “And she responds to the Bat Signal.”
Across the gym — after Lounsbury had sheepishly accepted applause from 400 students and more than two dozen colleagues, friends an administrators — the Kennedy team leader and Title I reading and math coach chuckled at the thought of being compared to Batman or Batgirl or whoever else might deliver superhero-sized help whenever it’s most needed.
She’d just been honored as the 2010-2011 Lawrence Master Teacher, received a $2,500 check, and been told she’d soon be having her “official” photo taken to appear alongside other winners at Lawrence school district headquarters.
Clearly humbled, Lounsbury accepted hugs from fans young and old before finally getting a chance to exhale. She’s been working in schools for 24 years now, first as a sixth-grade teacher and guidance counselor in the Santa Fe Trail school district, and for the past 11 years at Kennedy, where she works with teachers and students to improve student achievement.
“I’m just glad they recognize me for being a teacher,” she said.
Lounsbury now will be the district’s nominee for Kansas Master Teacher, sponsored by Emporia State University’s Teachers College. Candidates for the statewide honor are selected based on their “outstanding professional service, teaching effectiveness, constructive service to the community and zeal in promoting the advancement of education.”