2012-2013 News Releases

KCKPS to Celebrate Teachers of the Year and 45 Other 'Star' Teachers


Contact: Tammy Dodderidge, communications manager, (913) 279-2225

Forty-seven district teachers are being honored this week for their dedication to students and the profession, and for the example they set for others. The Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools will host its annual Star Teacher Celebration, April 10 at the Central Office and Training Center.

Each year, staff in all the district schools nominate one educator for the Kansas Teacher of the Year program. This list of "Star Teachers" is then reviewed by a collaborative committee consisting of teachers, administrators and a representative from NEA-KCK. The committee selects one elementary and one secondary nomination to forward on to the Kansas Teacher of the Year program.

This year's KCKPS Teachers of the Year are: Tami Hedenskog, life skills/special education teacher at Stony Point North Elementary; and William Brame, journalism/theater teacher and debate coach at Arrowhead Middle School.

Tami Hedenskog

Hedenskog has been teaching in the district for 7 years at Stony Point North. She is a member of the school's leadership team and earlier this year earned her National Board Certification. She said she cannot imagine putting her mind to anything other than teaching. Her philosophy about teaching special education students is, "I teach kids who learn differently so I must teach them differently." She believes that every student can achieve his/her own level of excellence. She provide students with exciting and motivating strategies and learning opportunities to meet their unique needs and interests incorporating flashcards, pictures, magnetic letters, videos, actions, Play-Doh and more. She also loves using different forms of technology to address her students' needs, such as iPads, SMART Boards computers and alternative communication devices.

William Brame

Brame's teaching philosophy is "everyone can learn." He has been teaching at Arrowhead Middle School since 2007. Under his leadership, the school's theatre program has received numerous grants and he has introduced students to a number of community theatre programs. As a result, several of his students have received scholarships or been accepted into community theatre programs. Brame also serves as the debate coach coordinator and since he began heading up this program, Arrowhead debaters have consistently ranked in the top three schools in the league. He has received several debate awards over the years for fostering innovation in debate and for his resourcefulness. Recently, he took on the role of journalism advisor and produce the school's yearbook. His students are learning page design, photography, copywriting and are using real-world technology under his leadership.

The other 45 Star Teachers are:

High Schools

Michelle McClaine, F.L. Schlagle; Philip Webb, J.C. Harmon; Mary Ann Sit, Sumner Academy; Nathan Cushenbery-Andrews, Washington; Cathy Vering, Wyandotte.

Alternative Schools

Arnold Mallory, Bridges/Wyandot Academy.

Middle Schools

Kristi Palmer-Stuetelberg, Argentine; Emilee Rose, Central; Deidra Campbell, Coronado; Aimee DeSotel, Eisenhower; Joe Graham, Northwest; Dan Dermyer, Rosedale; Teresa Earley, West.

Elementary Schools

Joycelyn Strickland-Egans, Banneker; Ellen Stump, Bethel; Molly McPartlin, Caruthers; Katherine Durbin, Claude Huyck; Heather Nicole Hamtil, Douglass; Vanessa Moreno, Emerson; Laura Belt, Eugene Ware; Kimberly Quijas, Frances Willard; John Peter Wetzel, Frank Rushton; Julie Kadakia, Grant; Brett Scarborough, Hazel Grove; Cristina Robb, John F. Kennedy; Margie Lim, John Fiske; Sara Coe, Lindbergh; April Frederick, Mark Twain; Byron Harris, McKinley; Breanna Gutierrez, ME Pearson; Jacqueline Anderson, New Chelsea; Rachelle Thoman, New Stanley; Elizabeth Harvey, Noble Prentis; Mark Hall, Parker; Amber Whisler, Quindaro; Stephanie Dickson, Silver City; Lacie Faison, Stony Point South; Ann Super, T.A. Edison; Marica Rhone, WA White; Phyllis Gipson, Welborn; Jessica Hannebaum, White Church; Latosha Berry, Whittier.


Tracy Erwin, KCK Early Childhood Center; Jenn Bruns, Morse Early Childhood Center.

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David A. Smith • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242