Great Bend USD 428 recently announced its nominee for the 2021 Kansas Horizon Award. Dorothy Leidig, fourth-grade teacher at Park Elementary, was surprised with the award in her classroom on Thursday, September 24.
The Kansas Horizon Award program offers Kansas school districts an opportunity to honor exemplary first-year teachers whose performance distinguishes themselves as outstanding. Leidig began her second year at Park Elementary School this fall.
“Ms. Leidig goes above and beyond expectations,” said Phil Heeke, principal of Park Elementary School. “She makes sure each student works to their greatest potential, treating them with respect and creating a rapport with both them, and their parents.”
Heeke also commented on Leidig’s strength in teaching the subjects of math and science, STEM curriculum, and referenced her previous work experience and education as cultivating these talents.
“My degree is in biology,” said Leidig. “I love seeing things click in my students. I enjoy the challenge of finding where students are at and watching them grow.”
“I have embraced teaching from a conceptual understanding rather than just teaching an algorithm or a trick. I strive to find a personal connection to the material and activate prior background knowledge so that material is relevant to my students and engages them, maximizing learning.”
“USD 428, Park Elementary, and our students, are fortunate to have Dorothy Leidig lending her talents, and passion to our youth,” said Khris Thexton, USD 428 superintendent. “She has our support and admiration as she advances to the state competition.”
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 2021 and will be recognized at the KEEN State Education Conference, which is typically held each February in Topeka.
Learn more about the Kansas Horizon Award Program at www.KSDE.org. Local questions can be directed to Andrea Bauer, USD 428 public information director, at 620-793-1560.