Amanda Loving, Riley School second-grade teacher, has been selected as the USD 428 Teacher of the Year for the upcoming school year. She will now advance to the Kansas Teacher of the Year competition.
“Mrs. Loving will be a great representative for USD 428 at the state KTOY level,” said Riley School Principal JoAnn Blevins. “She has worked with elementary students from kindergarten through sixth grade as a special education teacher.
“Mrs. Loving has brought her diverse list of learning strategies and differentiation ideas to the second-grade classroom this year,” Blevins said.
“She is a natural teacher who instinctively knows how to reach each student in the classroom,” she said. “Mrs. Loving constantly seeks out new ideas and stretches herself to help students.
“She embodies all of the qualities that a KTOY teacher should have and all of those that all children should experience in their teachers. She is a role model for students and adults alike.”
Loving is a graduate of Emporia State University with a BSE degree in elementary and special education and a master’s degree in adaptive special education. In 2009 she was named Kansas Special Education Teacher of the Year.
Her career as a teacher started with a position with Barton County Special Services and she taught students with learning disabilities and emotional disorders (K-6) at Riley School for 14 years. She held that position until this year when she moved to a regular education class teaching second graders.
“I believe all children can learn, regardless of ability, disability, language, race or socioeconomic status,” Loving said in her application.
“It is my professional duty to reach past the differences each child possesses, find each child’s strength and provide the opportunity to learn,” Loving said. “It is my goal that when a student leaves my room, I have helped build the confidence and belief that he or she has the ability to learn and will continue to make learning a lifelong endeavor.
“I love when a former student stops in to visit me, particularly those who are in high school or college,” she said. “I feel I have made a contribution and a difference in a life when a former student shares a memory with me about being in my class.
“Teaching has many rewards, but I feel the greatest reward is the ability to start a new day with students (and) a clean slate,” Loving said. “At the end of the day I can always find a fun moment no matter what kind of day the students or I have had. I hope the students are able to do the same.”