New Free State High math teacher thanks students for award

photo by: Elvyn Jones

Free State High School math teacher Alyssa Barratt reacts Monday to the news from Principal Myron Graber that she was the Lawrence school district's secondary-level Horizon Award winner.

Free State High School math teacher Alyssa Barratt said that being recognized Monday as a Lawrence school district Horizon Award winner was nice, but it was her students who made every school day special.

“I do this because I love you guys,” she told the students in her first-hour geometry class. “Thank you for letting me have so much fun.”

In presenting Barratt with the award, Free State Principal Myron Graber praised the way that Barratt shared her joy in teaching.

“She is one of the most energetic people in our building, and that energy extends to her planning, delivery, collaboration and camaraderie,” he said. “It’s easy for me to forget she has only a year of experience under her belt, given the presence she already brought to our building and our community.”

Joining Graber in surprising Barratt with the award were Barratt’s parents, Dee Dee and Robert Barratt, of Neosho, Mo., and Lawrence Superintendent Anthony Lewis. In his remarks, Lewis said Barratt’s fellow teachers were impressed with the level of professionalism Barratt had shown so early in her career.

The district annually presents Horizon Awards to one elementary school teacher and one secondary teacher after the first year on the job. The district’s elementary-level winner will be named Thursday.

This year’s award comes with a $250 check from Truity Credit Union. Barratt and the elementary-level winner will be considered for Kansas Horizon Award regional honors, which the Kansas Department of Education will announce in February. The regions correspond with the state’s four congressional districts.


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