Every year, Unified School District 475 honors one elementary and one secondary teacher as the district nominee for Kansas Teacher of the Year. The Kansas Teacher of the Year Awards are given, in partnership, by the Kansas State Department of Education.
This award is given to teachers that have shown dedication to their profession and their students. Teachers are nominated by administrators, staff, fellow teachers, and parents within the district. Nominees then fill out a nomination packet, and the packets are reviewed by a committee made of past nominees, as well as district staff appointed to the committee by the Superintendent.
Elementary Teacher – Desiree Brown
The 2021 Kansas Teacher of the Year for Geary County School in the Elementary Teachers category is Desiree Brown.
Desiree is the music teacher at Sheridan Elementary School. She has been a teacher for 14 years, and she has taught in various schools within the district for the past 10 years. She has taught music at Sheridan for the last 5 years. Mrs. Brown enjoys building relationships with her students. Unlike most teachers, she is able to teach students for all years that they attend the school, so she has the opportunity to watch them grow and develop.
Desiree tries to use music to teach skills to her students that they can use throughout life. Through music education, she is able to teach students to use teamwork, build confidence, persevere through difficult times, and to support each other.
Secondary Teacher – Laura Miller
Laura Miller has been a teacher for 13 years, and the last 5 have been at Junction City High School. She has taught a variety of subjects, including biology, AVID, and currently she teaches agriculture. She also has helped establish the local chapter of the Future Farmers of America, where several of her students have been able to showcase their ideas and talents.
Laura like to have a hands-on approach in her classroom. She believes that the best way to learn is learning by doing, which is also a motto of the JCHS FFA chapter. She enjoys getting a new group of students each year, and sees them as a blank slate, and uses that to help them all find common ground, regardless of their backgrounds or interests.
Both teachers were presented with their awards at the State of Education Event at Junction City Middle School Tuesday night.