Sunflower Elementary first grade teacher named as a Kansas Master Teacher

photo by: Lawrence school district

Sunflower Elementary first grade teacher Jessica Brown has been named a Kansas Master Teacher.

A Sunflower Elementary first-grade teacher has been named as a Kansas Master Teacher, the Lawrence school district announced Thursday.

The teacher, Jessica Brown, was one of seven teachers in the state to earn the honor. Established in 1954, the Kansas Master Teacher awards honor exemplary professional educators.

The dean of Emporia State University’s Teachers College called Brown in her classroom Wednesday with the news that she had been selected. The Lawrence district named her its Lawrence Master Teacher last spring and nominated her for the state honor.

Brown’s students and colleagues celebrated the surprise announcement with posters, flowers, hugs and party horns. Even class pets Lulu the lizard and Morton the guinea pig joined in the fun, with Morton taking a victory lap on the rug in the bed of a remote-controlled truck, the district said.

Brown has taught at Sunflower for four years and, previously, at Hillcrest for six. Before joining the district, she taught one year in a dual-language kindergarten classroom, incorporating 10% of her instruction in Spanish, the release said.

Master Teachers receive $1,000 from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and will be recognized during a banquet on Master Teacher Day on April 3 at Emporia State University.

In her state application Brown wrote: “My classroom is a reflection of life itself. It is where life is shared, life is viewed, life is gained, life is changed, and life is handled together. This will continue to be the truth I strive to uphold, practice, and embody as long as I am given the opportunity.”

A student wrote: “Ms. Brown was my first grade teacher. I am now ten, and I still think of her as my favorite teacher. She goes out of her way to help all of her students. Ms. Brown impacted my life for the better. She is the best teacher I have ever had. She continues to be an inspiration to my life.”


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