Jason Karlin went back to school.
Samantha Saltz’s husband is in school.
Friday afternoon, the two second-year teachers learned something themselves — that they grade out as the two top novice teachers in the entire Lawrence school district.
The evidence: Each received a personal visit in class Friday afternoon from district Superintendent Rick Doll, who lauded each for exemplary skills in the classroom and abilities to connect with students.
Each received a Horizon Award, a $250 check courtesy of KU Credit Union, and clearance to be nominated for a statewide Horizon Award.
“It’s very exciting,” said Karlin, who teaches math at Lawrence High School after a 15-year career as an engineer and IT professional. “It really reinforces the hard work that being a teacher is, and really makes it all worthwhile.”
Saltz, a graduate of Concordia College in Oregon, came to Lawrence as her husband, Zach, pursues a doctorate in film at Kansas University. Now a first-grade teacher at New York School, she found herself shocked Friday to be receiving a surprise visit from Doll, other administrators and several of her friends.
“It’s nice to feel recognized for all the hard work that I did this year and last year,” she said. “It’s just incredible.”
The district had 26 first-year teachers a year ago, and this year has 29.