Douglas County educators advance to Kansas Teacher of the Year honors

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Lead image updated at 3:41 p.m. Friday, March 25

Educators across the state, including four from Douglas County, will vie this weekend to advance to the final round in the Kansas Teacher of the Year awards.

Representing Lawrence Public Schools in the elementary category are Jennifer Gorup, library media specialist at Quail Run Elementary; and in the secondary category, Craig McCauley, choral music director at West Middle School.


Nominees from Eudora Public Schools in the elementary category are Jennifer Pate, special education teacher at Eudora Elementary, and in the secondary category, Damian Johnson, director of bands at Eudora Middle and High schools.

Sponsored by the Kansas Department of Education, 109 educators were nominated for the awards, according to a news release from KSDE. The mission of the program “is to build and utilize a network of exemplary teachers who are leaders in the improvement of schools, student performance and the teaching profession.”

This weekend, a panel of teachers, administrators and higher education representatives in each of Kansas’ four congressional districts selects six semifinalists – three in each category. Each regional panel then chooses one elementary finalist and one secondary finalist.

Live coverage of the Region 2 awards event featuring the educators from Douglas County will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 27 at this link.

The 2023 Kansas Teacher of the Year will be announced at an awards banquet on Saturday, Sept. 24 in Wichita.

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Tricia Masenthin (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at tmasenthin (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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