A student and a teacher from Riley Elementary School received awards on Tuesday for all their hard work this school year.
Sixth-grade student Norma Blair and special education teacher Traci Miller received the Exemplary Student Award and the Exemplary Teacher Award from the Great Bend Masonic Lodge No. 15.
“Giving out these awards today is a great honor,” Masonic Lodge member Terry Price said. “These two individuals work really hard and this shows they are both dedicated to what they do as a student and a teacher.”
Schools from all over the state were invited by the Kansas Masonic Foundation to submit nominations for the awards. In Barton County, Riley Elementary was the only school to participate in the program.
Once the award recipients are chosen, this information is passed to the foundation which, in turn, sends it to the local lodge which hands out the awards.
Nominations are accepted year round and the local lodge presents the winners with certificates at a school event, recognizing them for their accomplishments.
Blair received the award for her good grades and dedication to her studies.
“Getting this award makes me feel really excited and very happy,” she said. “I really like going to school and working hard and my favorite subject is math.”
Miller teaches students in grades 3-6 and has been teaching for 21 years.
“I was very surprised about being nominated and being picked for this award,” she said. “I did not know anything about it. I am very honored.”
Kansas Masons have a long-standing partnership with public education. While its statewide programs are important, the local Masonic Lodge also honors local teachers for their contributions to the community and to their dedication as educators.
Likewise, each year Kansas Lodges recognize students for being exemplary in their schools. Recognition can be for academics, leadership, overcoming special circumstances or “just because they are an all-around good kid.”