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Archive for Monday, February 27, 2012

Lawrence middle school educator earns Kansas Master Teacher honor

February 27, 2012

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Kendra Metz, a Southwest Middle School teacher in language arts and reading, reacts to being named Lawrence Master Teacher on Thursday, Nov. 10.

Kendra Metz, a Southwest Middle School teacher in language arts and reading, reacts to being named Lawrence Master Teacher on Thursday, Nov. 10.

A Southwest Middle School teacher has been named to the 2012 class of Kansas Master Teachers.

Kendra Metz, who teaches language arts and reading, is one of seven educators across the state who received the award. Master Teachers are recognized for their years of service and for their outstanding teaching qualities.

Metz has spent 18 years in the Lawrence school district. In that time, she has been at Central Junior High, Quail Run, Prairie Park and Woodlawn. In the fall, Metz was among the teachers who helped transition sixth-grade students from the elementary school to the middle school, moving from Hillcrest to Southwest Middle School.

Before that move, she spent six years at Hillcrest. There, she was well-known for incorporating Italian Restaurant Day into the curriculum, a project where students would learn about applying for jobs, making pasta and serving customers. The money raised would go toward helping other students.

In November, Metz had a surprise visit to her classroom from Superintendent Rick Doll, former colleagues and family. She was honored with the Lawrence Master Teacher award, which comes with a $2,500 check from KU Credit Union. From there, she was nominated for the state competition.

According to the program, key to Metz’s success is her ability to “find each student’s unique needs, take interest in her students outside the classroom and use inventive projects to expand their learning and give back to the community.”

As part of the Kansas Master Teachers program, two of the seven teachers will have the chance to teach education students at Emporia State University for part of the semester.

A ceremony honoring the 2012 class will be April 4 at Emporia State University.

Comments

Belinda Rehmer 2 years, 9 months ago

Too few of our outstanding teachers in this region get recognized for the innovative ideas they use to engage our students! It is always nice to see excellence rewarded. Congratulations Ms Metz for achieving such an honor!

Throughout the years I have had the privilege to witness first hand the struggles and successes of many of our area teachers. As a Para in Eudora some 25 years ago, (witnessing hallway collaboration between teachers struggling to connect to individual students) to teaching Junior Achievement work-readiness & entrepreneurship in Pinckney Elementary School to now serving my second term on the Eudora School Board, I continue to be amazed at the passion many of our teachers have for their "kiddos". I would be interested in reading about some of the creative methods used by teachers throughout our area districts.

For instance Kendra's incorporating Italian Restaurant Day into the curriculum, a project where students would learn about applying for jobs, making pasta and serving customers. EHS math teacher Scott Keltner's work that spearheaded Eudora's wind turbine project. *Eudora Schools first ever Kansas Horizon Award winner, April Peavey's Prefix Salad, Suffex Pizza, and Root Word Root Beer during a word structure unit or turning her students into "molecules" during a science unit study on states of matter.

These are only snippets of creativity that teachers use everyday in our classrooms. How much fun would it be to have a regular feature story sharing/celebrating the "jewels" we have in our education system? I'm frankly tired of hearing about the problems. I would LOVE to know more about the successes and the creativity I believe is just oozing out of our buildings!

chocolateplease 2 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations, and a huge thank you, Ms. Metz!

It always boils down to the teacher. Without a high quality teacher, it won't make much difference how small the class is, how good the principal is, etc. (not that those things aren't important.)

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