Great Bend High School English Teacher Crystal Cross has received a well-deserved place in the Kansas Teacher’s Hall of Fame. She will be inducted in a ceremony on June 11 in Dodge City.
The Kansas Teacher’s Hall of Fame is dedicated to early and present-day teachers who have devoted their lives to the profession.
Dr. Mary Misegadis, GBHS migrant student resource teacher, spearheaded the effort to have Cross admitted into the hall of fame. She organized nomination letters from Dan Brungardt, USD 428 administrator; Joyce Carter, USD 428 school board member; Tim Friess, GBHS principal; Debbie Eyestone, fellow GBHS English teacher; and Jennifer Schartz, former student.
In his letter of support, Brungardt wrote, “Mrs. Cross is an excellent example of quality teaching. (She is) extremely hard-working, loyal, honest and dedicated to the teaching profession.”
“I was in awe of what Crystal could do in the classroom with her students,” Carter wrote. “Crystal’s knowledge is well received by all students, but her desire to convince students they can succeed is a true inspiration.”
“Crystal is not only an outstanding teacher, she is an outstanding person,” Friess wrote. “She seems to have one goal in mind and that is to help each and every student that she can help to be successful.
“What sets Crystal apart from the rest is the amazing level of professionalism that she exhibits day in and day out,” Friess continued. “Her ‘bad days’ are great days to other educators because she always has the students’ best interests at heart. She works endlessly to help each student achieve at a level that others do not expect.”
“Those who know Crystal automatically associate her with positive energy, selflessness and a genuine respect, concern and devotion to her fellow man – qualities that seem to inspire and make others around her want to be their very best,” Eyestone wrote.
“I have always firmly believed that we are judged, not for our inabilities, but rather for not acting upon our given abilities to benefit others,” Eyestone continued. “Not only does she make the world a better place, but she also inspires and encourages others to do the same.”
“I credit much of my successful career to Mrs. Cross,” Schartz wrote. “She not only helped my self-confidence at a pivotal time in my life, she provided me with tools to move forward into a career that I have always enjoyed.
“I’m sure if you polled the hundreds of students that Mrs. Cross has had during her long career at GBHS,” Schartz continued, “you would find that I am far from the only student who feels that she has enriched our lives, not only educationally, but personally.”
In her application, Cross discussed her educational goals and teaching philosophy.
“My educational goals always include teaching my students the basic skills they need to be successful in higher education and to be life-long learners,” she wrote.
“I try to reach out to my students as individuals and teach them as I would my own children,” Cross continued. “Every child has different talents, needs, learning styles, backgrounds, fears and dreams.
“I try to be the support they can lean on when they feel weak, but I also give them the tools to be able to stand on their own,” she wrote. “I challenge, I care and I teach my students to care about themselves and others.”