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Horizon Winners: 1st-year teachers earn recognition
horizon awards 2019 5th graders
A proud fifth-grade class at Jefferson Elementary School congratulated their teacher, Mrs. Lomas, when school administrators delivered the surprise news that their teacher was selected at the 2020 Horizon Award Nominee for USD 428. The award recognizes exemplary first-year teachers who stand out among their peers.

Each year, Great Bend USD 428 selects two exemplary first-year teachers for the Kansas Horizon Award. The 2020 nominees are Stephanie Lomas, Jefferson Elementary School fifth-grade teacher, and Brandy Proffitt, Great Bend Middle School seventh-grade science teacher. 

The Kansas Horizon Award program, administered by the Kansas State Department of Education, offers Kansas school districts an opportunity to honor exemplary first-year teachers whose performance distinguishes themselves as outstanding. Both teachers are beginning their second year in USD 428.

“It was an easy decision to nominate Mrs. Lomas for the Horizon Award,” said Kip Wilson, principal of Jefferson Elementary School. 

“She made an immediate impact on our building through her ability to relate to students and provide high quality instruction,” Wilson commented about Mrs. Lomas. “Her performance in the classroom far exceeds her experience level.”

Speaking of Ms. Proffitt’s ability to establish positive relationships with students and tackle challenging curriculum, GBMS Principal David Reiser commented, saying, “She has a real gift to make science interesting for kids.” 

“You will notice this special talent the minute you walk into her classroom. The kids are engaged and interacting with the teacher on the lessons she has created.

“I am very excited to see what the future holds for Ms. Proffitt in this profession,” said Reiser.

The Kansas Horizon Award program, sponsored by the Kansas Department of Education, allows all school districts in the state an opportunity to nominate one elementary and one secondary teacher for the award. The Kansas Horizon Award Program is a regional competition. Nominations from school districts within the same U.S. congressional district will compete for statewide recognition. Kansas Horizon Award winners will be announced January of 2020 and will be recognized at the KEEN State Education Conference, which takes place each February in Topeka..