Quail Run Elementary teacher wins Kansas Horizon Award for excellent teaching

Share this post or save for later

Quail Run Elementary School teacher Julia Ferguson has been chosen to receive a Kansas Horizon Award for her positive impact on education in the state.

Ferguson teaches a fourth and fifth grade multigrade class at Quail Run.

Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson called Ferguson on her first day back at school after winter break to share the news, according to a tweet from the Lawrence school district.

Each school district may annually nominate one elementary teacher and/or one middle or high school teacher in their second year of teaching to be considered for the Kansas Horizon Award Program, according to the Kansas State Department of Education website. The program, sponsored by the KSDE, “identifies and recognizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms of the state,” the website said.

Back in September, Ferguson was awarded the Lawrence Horizon Award, which honors outstanding teachers in their second year with the district. Watch the moment Superintendent Anthony Lewis presented the award to Ferguson last fall in her classroom below.

The district then chose to nominate her to the state recognition program — and she was selected. 

Ferguson is now part of the Kansas Exemplary Educator Network (KEEN) of “statewide educational leaders in school improvement, student performance, and the teaching profession,” according to the district’s tweet. KEEN educators meet each year to collaborate on professional development and serve on KSDE advisory committees.

In presenting Ferguson’s recognition in September, Lewis told Ferguson the Quail Run staff said she “immediately clicked with the team, helping to create a collaborative, supporting and trusting environment through your relationships with your colleagues and with your scholars.”

A fourth grade teaching colleague said Ferguson’s ”love and dedication for your creation of engaging, meaningful lessons and experiences for your scholars have been beyond your team’s wildest imaginations,” Lewis said. Ferguson’s class also had some of the highest assessment scores in the district, he said.

Ferguson said in the video that she would “really throw it back on” the kids and the community.

“Everybody’s been hearing there’s not a lot of positivity in the world of education but here, I feel like … we’re building it. It’s great,” she said.

Up to 32 teachers across the region win the Horizon Award every year, according to the KSDE website. Ferguson along with the other award winners will be individually recognized during a luncheon at the two-day KEEN conference in February and will be invited to participate as special guests at the conference.

Ferguson did not respond to an email inviting comment for this article.

If our local journalism matters to you, please help us keep doing this work.
Don’t miss a beat … Click here to sign up for our email newsletters

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

Latest Lawrence news:


Previous Article

Douglas County sustainability team to hold climate effects focus group with BIPOC community members

Next Article

Advisory board members want voice, accountability on drug & alcohol prevention funds