FHSU students, alumni honored with Kansas Horizon education award


Thirty-two first-year educators from Kansas were recognized for their outstanding teaching skills through the 2022 Kansas Horizon Award program. Six of those are either current Fort Hays State University students or recent graduates of FHSU.

The Kansas Horizon Award program is sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). All school districts across the state have the opportunity to nominate one elementary and one secondary teacher for the award.

The program, in its 20th year, is divided into four regions corresponding to the state’s U.S. congressional districts. Four elementary and four secondary classroom teachers are selected from each region.

FHSU was well represented in Region 1, with half of the winners having ties to Fort Hays State. That is especially impressive since that region corresponds with Kansas’ Big First District, which encompasses all or part of 63 in western and northern Kansas – more than half of the state.

Four of the FHSU winners are current students in the Transition To Teaching (T2T) program, an alternative route to teacher licensure in Kansas.

As recipients of the Kansas Horizon Award, these educators are invited to join the Kansas Exemplary Educators Network (KEEN), a network of educators from around the state who have been formally recognized for exemplary performance. Members of KEEN have an opportunity to network with other outstanding educators and participate in several professional development programs throughout the year.       

Following is a list of the 2022 Horizon Award winners with FHSU ties:

From Region 1:

Lindsey Kepka, T2T, Hutchinson Virtual School.

Christine Pianalto, T2T, McPherson High School.

Katelyn Stoss, T2T, Plum Creek Elementary School, Buhler.

Jazzman Tolbert, 2019 graduate, Graber Elementary School, Hutchinson.

From Region 2:

Mellisa Wilson, 2019 graduate, Central Heights Elementary School, Richmond.

From Region 4: Kassie Campidilli, T2T, Goddard High School.

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