Prairie Park teacher receives Horizon Award for outstanding first-year service

Erica Voegerl, a third-grade teacher at Prairie Park School, received one of the Lawrence school district's Horizon Awards, recognizing outstanding first-year teachers. The award was presented during a school assembly Wednesday.

Erica Voegerl, a third grade teacher at Prairie Park school, was honored today with the Lawrence school district’s Horizon award, which recognizes outstanding first-year teachers.

Each year, the district gives the award to one elementary and one secondary teacher. Rachel Downs, an art teacher at Free State High School, was given the secondary award Tuesday. Both will be nominated for the state Horizon Award, which will be announced later this year by the Kansas State Department of Education.

Both received a $250 cash award presented by Truity Credit Union.

Superintendent Rick Doll presented the award during a school assembly this afternoon.

Prairie Park Principal David Williams described Voegerl as, “dynamic in her approach to instruction and is always looking for new and engaging lessons to motivate her students.”

“She loves to learn, is an active part of our school community and always looks for ways to support her colleagues,” Williams said.

Voegerl grew up in Loogootee, Ind., and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville. She moved to Lawrence with her husband, Ryan Voegerl, a graduate student at Kansas University.